Applicants must be "age" / "aged" 16...
Applicants must be [color=red]age 16 by the start of the program.
Applicants must be [color=green]aged 16 or over (parent or guardian is to consent for those under 18).

[color=green]aged is an adjective and is [color=red]age an noun?

Interesting. Offhand I don’t know the function of the noun in these: age 16, size 10, station 42, chapter 3, etc.

Thank you, MM.
Are the “age” and “aged” necessary?

Not if the reader understands the context.

‘‘Applicants must be age 16 by the start of the program.’’
That seems just wrong. Is this structure in common use, though?

Applicants must be 16 years of age by the start of the program. – sounds much better to me.


Both are common, the first perhaps more so, as it is a shorter form of the second.

Christina, that phrasing is extremely common. I prefer it to what you have suggested. I also prefer “age” to “aged.” And, if I used “aged,” I would actually write “aged 16 years.” To say someone has aged 16 sounds off unless you have previously mentioned years. I would compare it with the way we traditionally form adverbial constructions with time and the like. “She studied three years.” “She grew 3 inches.” “She is 3 inches taller.” You could omit the noun in all three, but it would seem odd if you had not already mentioned it. This really doesn’t matter much since age is so commonly written this way, but it’s a personal preference.

“Age 16” is interesting. Having checked three dictionaries, I can say their examples don’t include this style. Interesting.

This is also common:

Harry went to the store with Sally, 16, and bought a Popsicle.

The way age is used here has always stricken me as odd, but as a member of the media, I’m accustomed to it. Traditionally, an adjective would be considered a misplaced modifier here. If I wanted to insert “happy,” for instance, I would have to add a relative clause. If we want something more comparable, we can include a height reference. I would still have to use a relative clause.

I’m aware of both, but would tend to use ‘aged’ Cristina. Perhaps it’s another British/American difference.

Thank you all,

Applicants must be aged 16 years or over.
Just to make sure I understood correctly, you would use ‘‘aged 16 years’’ in this particular sentence? That is new to me.

That sounds like phrasing specific to the broadcast media.

Harry went to the store with Sally, a 16-year-old, and bought a Popsicle.
Is this the same thing? I mean, your sentence does not say that both Harry and Sally are 16 – only Sally is 16, right?


Your understanding is correct, Christina, but that’s not specific to broadcasting at all. That pervades U.S. print journalism.