Usage of "year olds"


I’ve just come across these usages: “year olds” or “yr olds”. They are a bit strange to me as this is the first time I’ve seen them. I guess that we can just use “year olds” or “yr olds” when refering to the people at that year of age, right?

1/ In that country, all 6 year olds should go to school => correct.
2/ He’s a genius - a 9 year old who could win over a much older competitor in a chess game => correct.
3/ She’s 25 year olds => incorrect.

Please check them for me.
Thank you very much.

6 year olds or 6-year-olds = 6 year old children.

I think your third sentence should be
“she’s a 25 year old” or
“she’s 25 years old”
And yeah, I believe that you can use “x year old” as a noun.

The noun and pre-nominal adjective forms require hyphens:

He is a 6-year-old child.
He is a 6-year-old.

The predicate adjective form doesn’t:

He is 6 years old.

Thanks a lot, Jamie, but I found these on the BNC: … =year+olds

What do you think?
Many thanks

I think they would be wrong today.

Hi Nessie

Here are some links that address hyphenation: … hyphen.htm … w/post.htm :wink: (scroll down to ‘adjective forms’)

Thanks a lot, Amy and Jamie :slight_smile:
So the BNC is wrong this time?

Hi Nessie,

I have to jump in here and I think I have alluded to this sort of thing before. BNC is neither right nor wrong. It’s like a vacuum cleaner and sucks up everything under its nose. It’s a recorder of information and not an arbiter or teacher. The same can be said of Madam Google. Just because something is on the Internet, it doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. It merely tells you what exists - what someone has said or written but bear in mind the speaker or writer may well be a raving lunatic!



The same thing that Alan says about the BNC is true to a smaller extent about English dictionaries that are aimed at native speakers. To some degree they simply list the words that people actually use, and not always what they think is proper.