Interested in Language
What's the difference between the phrases a seven-day holiday and a seventh-day holiday? Can the first one be understood as "a holiday lasting seven days" and the second one as "a holiday taken place on the seventh day"?
Can the modifier seven-day in the phrase a seven-day holiday be substituted with a genitive modifier seven days' ( a seven days' holiday)?
Thank you for your answers and correction, Rover.
It seems to me that not sounding like a non-native speaker is too much of a challenge for me. But on the other hand even native speakers often avoid following some grammar rules. There might have been some ambiguity in the modality of the verb can in my question. So I would like to specify the latter and ask whether the substitution ofthe modifierseven-day in the phrase a seven-day holiday with a genitive modifier seven days' is grammatically correct, but not whether I will sound like a non-native speaker when saying this phrase.
You can say I took seven days' holiday, but not
I took a seven days' holiday
I didn't take a seven days' holiday, but I took a ten days' holiday.
Or is there anything wrong with the indefinite article in the basic expression "to take a holiday"?
I took a ten-day holiday.
I took ten days' holiday.
If you don't believe us when we tell you that the above two sentences are the correct ways of expressing it in English, and that your suggested variations are incorrect, I don't see what else we can do for you.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
If you don't mind, I will put the question in the following way.
An indefinite article in its classifying function can't be used before the phrase "ten days' holiday" because:
1) "ten days'" is not a descriptive attribute;
2) "ten days' holiday" is a set expression;
3) we cosider it to be incorrect;
4) all of the above;
5) there is some other reason.
When choosing the right variant, please remember that I will be using your explanation not only for myself but also for my pupils who are preparing for the examination test.
Last edited by sergeyrais; 17-Dec-2012 at 18:24. Reason: inserting a phrase "ten days' holiday"
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
- I've got a week's holiday starting on Monday.
- Julia has got three weeks' holiday.
- I live near the station - it's only about ten minutes' walk.
(English Grammar in Use - Raymond Murphy)
It seems to me that "a" is not possible before three weeks' and ten minutes' because both nouns are plural.
You wouldn't say 'I have a seven close friends' either, right?
Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 17-Dec-2012 at 19:07.