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I'm wondering if there should be an "s" when telling about ages. I have heard from my native English friend says "I'm 24 year old" is it correct?

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closed as off-topic by Mari-Lou A, RyeɃreḁd, choster, TimLymington, medica Apr 29 '14 at 5:54

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Mari-Lou A, RyeɃreḁd, choster, TimLymington, medica
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is general reference, and as such I would advise the user to do some minimal research (there are hundreds of English grammar websites) beforehand. If they are still unclear, post a question explaining their difficulty on EL&U's sister site: English Language Learners. As it stands now, this question is even too basic for ELL standards – Mari-Lou A Apr 27 '14 at 5:26
This question had already an answer on English Language Learners. – Laure Apr 27 '14 at 6:21
@Mari-LouA thank you, but if you think that this question is too basic, just ignore it, as simple as that. I have already got the answer from other users anyway, so you don't need to bother. – jinhyun Apr 27 '14 at 7:53
Actually, the exact phrase you quoted in your question I'm 24 year old is incorrect, nobody has picked up on that. Regardless, the answer you have awarded is clear and correct. – Mari-Lou A Apr 27 '14 at 8:13
It is quite possible that an English person would say "I'm 24 year old" but it is bad usage. The same kind of person might say "I've got 5 pound." without an 's'. It is illiterate. You should avoid it. – KCH Apr 27 '14 at 11:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

When describing someone by their age, you would drop the 's'. This is because when you express a unit of measurement (in this case time, or age) as an adjective, it become singular.

  • The 20-year-old student you're referring to was last seen in the park.
  • I am a 24-year-old college graduate.

However, when someone is stating their age, you would attach an 's'.
This occurs because when a unit of measurement is used as a noun, it becomes plural.

  • He is 32 years old.
  • I am 40 years old.

I think anyway, hope this helps some. :)

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"when describing someone by their age" is rather a vague expression. Such adjectives are compound adjectives. When in such adjectives there is a cardinal number + noun the noun has no plural s. – rogermue Apr 27 '14 at 5:54
@rogermue thank you :) – jinhyun Apr 27 '14 at 6:00

24 years old or 24-year old

sorry I am Japanese, not native English speaker :(

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In such compound adjectives you use two hyphens, you write eg a 15-year-old girl. – rogermue Apr 27 '14 at 6:09
@rogermue thanks so much, this really helpful. – jinhyun Apr 27 '14 at 8:54

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