Page 3 of 5 First 1 2 3 4 5 Last
Results 21 to 30 of 44
  1. #21
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,263

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    That construction sounds fine to me. I (a native speaker) use it occasionally,
    Perhaps it's not regionality but age. I wonder if that usage may be getting a bit dated. That grammar text that you've cited is almost a century old.

  2. #22
    Waawe is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    203

    Re: Three days' trip

    I found an instance in Michael Swan's Practical English Usage, too. Published 2017. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Snímek obrazovky 2021-01-25 221434.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	35.2 KB 
ID:	3860

  3. #23
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,157

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    I found an instance in Michael Swan's Practical English Usage, too. Published 2017. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Snímek obrazovky 2021-01-25 221434.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	35.2 KB 
ID:	3860
    What do you mean, Waawe? What is that supposed to be an example of?

  4. #24
    Waawe is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    203

    Re: Three days' trip

    Isn't twenty minutes' delay the same structure as two weeks' trip? That is, the measurement of time using the 's structure?

  5. #25
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,157

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    If you won't accept Curme's endorsement, let me know and I shall find other grammarians who also endorse it, as well as fine examples in literature.
    As I said, I don't see it as correct. I don't really see how a grammarian is entitled to endorse anything. Aren't they just meant to make observations of usage?

    I don't particularly mean to push an argument that I'm not greatly interested in, but I am happy to discuss this further if you wish. Plus, I always greatly enjoy your excellent examples from works of literature.

  6. #26
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,157

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Isn't twenty minutes' delay the same structure as two weeks' trip? That is, the measurement of time using the 's structure?
    I think you've gotten confused. Yes, twenty minutes' delay is the same structure as two weeks' trip, but the former is correct and the latter isn't, in my opinion, for the reasons I gave in my lengthy explanation. However, you've obviously noted that some people disagree with my opinion.

    What I'd consider to be incorrect usage is if there were an indefinite article in a twenty minutes' delay.

  7. #27
    Phaedrus's Avatar
    Phaedrus is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,260

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Perhaps it's not regionality but age. I wonder if that usage may be getting a bit dated. That grammar text that you've cited is almost a century old.
    Curme's grammar (1933) is pretty old, but Quirk et al. (1985), DeClerck (1991), and Huddleston & Pullum (2002) are not. All of them endorse it.

    If the moderators of Using English consult grammar books, the phrase to search for is "genitive of measure."

    "Note that the function of the genitive is not determinative in two uses: descriptive genitive, eg: a girl's school . . . and genitive of measure, eg: an hour's delay."

    - A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, p. 1276. Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik. Longman, 1985.
    "The genitive can be found with nouns denoting duration, value or distance (= the so-called genitive of measure). There is no alternative construction with of. . . . When such a phrase begins with the indefinite article, the latter is a determiner to the noun in the genitive, not to the noun head. Since this is not possible when the genitive is a plural, phrases consisting of a followed by a plural genitive phrase and a noun head (e.g. a five minutes' talk) are not normally used. (They are occasionally found but not not generally considered 'correct'.) Instead we normally use the construction in which the noun is uninflected."

    Declerck, Renaat. A Comprehensive Descriptive Grammar of English, p. 253. Kaitakusha, 1991.
    I disagree with Declerk's analysis of the indefinite article as being a determiner to the noun phrase in the genitive. I understand it as a determiner to the head noun in the possessive construction (the possessee). That's why native speakers understand a three-days' journey as a journey of three days, not as journey of a three days.

    (b) Measure genitives

    [46] [an hour's delay], [one week's holiday] this [hour's delay], a second [one hour's delay], the [one dollar's worth of chocolates] he bought

    Genitives of this kind measure just temporal length or value: we do not have, for example, *They had [a mile's walk] (spatial distance) or *We bought [a pound's carrots] (weight)."

    - The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, p. 470 (Huddleston & Pullum, 2002)

  8. #28
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    21,577

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Like GoesStation, I don't agree that a three days' trip or a five minutes' talk or a three hours' delay are correct. By what criteria are you judging these to be so?
    Curme's book from 1933.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #29
    Phaedrus's Avatar
    Phaedrus is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,260

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Curme's book from 1933.
    Somebody seems not to have seen post #27.

  10. #30
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,157

    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I disagree with Declerk's analysis of the indefinite article as being a determiner to the noun phrase in the genitive. I understand it as a determiner to the head noun in the possessive construction (the possessee).
    I see exactly where we're disagreeing now. I completely agree with Declerk's analysis. I find it very hard to parse it your way. It doesn't make sense to me that way.

    That's why native speakers understand a three-days' journey as a journey of three days, not as journey of a three days.
    Sure. But to many I'm equally sure, such a construction sounds conspicuously ungrammatical.

Page 3 of 5 First 1 2 3 4 5 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •