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  1. #41
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Three days' trip

    Let's not forget that grammar is not an exact science. There are gray and plastic areas and I think this is one of them. Some of the examples cited by Phaedrus sound natural, which is a hint that the structure in question is not ungrammatical (or at least wasn't in the past). However, others sound odd, which probably tells us that it's falling out of favour. Regionality may also be contributing to the difference of opinion here as could be other factors.

  2. #42
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post



    We are setting out for a three days' trip.
    NOT A TEACHER


    Waawe, whenever I want to know how published authors use the language, I check out the "Books" section of Google, where thousands of books have been digitalized.

    I just went there and typed in these words with the apostrophe and the quotation marks: "a three days' "

    I discovered that most of the citations with an apostrophe after the word "days" were from older sources. I found very few recent sources.

    When you write something, you want the reader to concentrate on your ideas, not on your punctuation. As you have seen from this thread, both forms could be considered "correct." So maybe it is better to simply write "a three-day trip."

    P.S. I also think that it would be better to use "on" instead of "for" in your sentence.

  3. #43
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Three days' trip

    A song comes to mind. It was a three-hour tour. (Gilligan's Island.)
    Not a professional teacher

  4. #44
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Three days' trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Hello,

    Is it OK to use the indefinite article before three-day trip?

    Again, it's not a possessive. Don't use apostrophe-S. The trip does not belong to three days. That would not make sense.


    We are setting out on a three-day trip.

    Is it optional or just incorrect?

    An article is not optional. It is necessary. Which to use depends on the context:

    - Me: I'm going on a three-day trip.

    - You: Wonderful! I hope you enjoy the three-day trip!


    Thank you.
    We hyphenate three-day because we're creating an adjective. It's not a three trip, and it's not a day trip. It's a three-day trip.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 31-Jan-2021 at 22:06.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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