Hi all of you
Is it possible to say:
I took a six-month leave of absence. ( is ‘six-month’ a compound adjective as in a blue-eyed lady doctor?)
I took a six months’ leave of absence./ I took a two days’/ two-day leave of absence
She took a day’s leave of absence.
She took a day leave of absence. (this one doesn’t seem correct).
He took a year’s leave of absence.
He took a year leave of absence.
What about this one: I was granted a six-day/ six’ day sick leave by my doctor.
I took a six-month leave of absence. ( is ‘six-month’ a compound adjective as in a blue-eyed lady doctor?) - that’s fine.
I took a six months’ leave of absence./ I took a two days’/ two-day leave of absence - so are those.
She took a day’s leave of absence. - that’s fine too.
She took a day leave of absence. (this one doesn’t seem correct). - your instincts are correct. This is not right. You would need to add ‘one’: She took a one day leave of absence.
He took a year’s leave of absence. - That’s okay.
He took a year leave of absence. - You would need to add ‘one’: He took a one year leave of absence.
What about this one: I was granted a six-day/ six’ day sick leave by my doctor. - Yes, without the apostrophe in the second.
All those are acceptable in informal English. Strict grammarians and examiners may insist on hyphens in all the x-day/year/week constructions.
Thank you Beeesneees. You say that all these constructions are acceptable in informal English. What would the formal constructions be then, or were you simply referring to the hyphens?
I was referring to the hyphens.
Thanks Beeesneees, so the sentences are used in formal English, but when you write them down, you have to use hyphens. Correct?
If you write them down formally for exams, etc. Not necessarily if you write them in a more informal setting. Most native English speakers would leave them out.
So, I may conclude then that my sentences are used in formal spoken English, right? Now, I’ve looked up a few sentences in one my dictionaries ‘Collins Cobuild’, I’m sure you’re familiar with it. But do I have to believe everything what ‘CC’ says? Well, here are the sentences:
- She asked for absence of leave to go to a funeral.
- He asked for 48 hours’ leave.
- She returned after five years’ leave of absence. (Shouldn’t I add ‘a’ after after? -She returned after a five years’ leave of absence)
Are these sentences correct and may I have your opinion on ‘CC’. I mean one of my colleagues seems to consider it as ‘The Great Fairy Tale Book of the English Language’ as it were. It’s the only dictionary she every uses to look up words and expressions, however, in my opinion, ‘CC’ sometimes gives vague definitions. Don’t forget to tell me whether my conclusion in the first paragraph in this message is correct.
Why do you think those may not be correct?
They are the same format as some that I confirmed were correct above:
The hyphens are only strictly necessary in the singular unit of time constructions (Perhaps I didn’t explain the difference well enough above, sorry). The constructions which utilise apostrophes don’t need hyphens, even formally. The sentences you write and which I have indicated are correct are in common use, not just in formal use (but they are correct for formal use as you surmise.)
You would only need ‘a’ in your last example if you used the alternative construction:
She returned after a five-year leave of absence. (a single absence which lasted five years)
For precision, it’s always best to have more than one dictionary available.
She returned after five years’ leave of absence. (five years’ worth of leave)
Hi NN, it’s 1:51 am over here, I don’t what time it is where you live? But would say ‘I had never thought…’ is more common in BrE? After all, Joan Collins, who played who played her was the evil character number one, the female JR as it were, played… well her charater was British. Ofcourse, it was she who made the series so popular - because at the beginning it could barely compete with ‘Dallas’- I think the producers urged and forced her to get to speak AmE after some time. You know what I mean?
Oh, dear, English is not an easy language, because: here are some differences:
- Since when have you been so concerned about that old lady? (BrE)
- Since when are you so concerned about that old lady? (AmE)
Now as far as the apostrophe is concerned, it is not really needed, it only depends on how you want to say and write it:
I took a two-week leave of absence or
I took a two weeks’ of absense.
Both mean the same, look at this, if you want to: Grammar/ leave of absence/ compound adjective/ Help again please! - English as a Second Language / English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms - TOEIC & TOEFL English learning forum