Five hour or five hours drive

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Anonymous

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Dear English Gurus,
Is it hour or hours ? (See examples below)

Los Angeles is a good five hour / five hours drive from here.

We are going for a five hour/five hours drive to the country tomorrow.

Do we need a hyphen between five and hour(s) ?

Thanks.
 

RonBee

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The usual expression is a five hour drive.

:)
 
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sara williams

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driver said:
Dear English Gurus,
Is it hour or hours ? (See examples below)

Los Angeles is a good five hour / five hours drive from here.

We are going for a five hour/five hours drive to the country tomorrow.

Do we need a hyphen between five and hour(s) ?

Thanks.

First of all, you have to decide whether the noun is countable or uncountable.

If the noun is uncountable, you write duration in the following way:

Three hours' work (work is an uncountable noun).

If the noun (drive) is countable, as it is in your example, you write it in the following way:

A five-hour drive.

You do indeed put a hyphen between "five" and "drive", because they now act like an adjective. They describe the drive. What kind of a drive is it?
It's a five-hour drive.

It's the same principle as a red-haired boy.

You would NOT write "a five-hourS drive", because in English there is no plural form of adjectives.
 

RonBee

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Tdol

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I think you could use both with 'drive', at least in BE:

It's a five-hour drive
It's five hours' drive

;-)
 

RonBee

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tdol said:
I think you could use both with 'drive', at least in BE:

It's a five-hour drive
It's five hours' drive

;-)

But would you say "It's a five hours drive"?

:wink:
 

Tdol

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I wouldn't. I know anything seems possible in BE nowadays, but that doesn't seem like a likely utterance to me. ;-)
 
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sara williams

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RonBee said:
tdol said:
I think you could use both with 'drive', at least in BE:

It's a five-hour drive
It's five hours' drive

;-)

But would you say "It's a five hours drive"?

:wink:

No! No! You would not say a five hours drive!!!! In spoken English, maybe, but to be written correctly it must be a five-hour drive (or five hours' drive). May I also add that the internet is not a reliable grammar reference! There are all sorts writing any old thing on the internet but it doesn't mean it's correct!!

May I suggest English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy (units 79 & 80) instead of the internet?
 
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