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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 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.

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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 ell.stackexchange.com –  Mari-Lou A Apr 27 at 5:26
    
This question had already an answer on English Language Learners. –  Laure Apr 27 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 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 at 8:13
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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 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 at 5:54
    
@rogermue thank you :) –  jinhyun Apr 27 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 at 6:09
    
@rogermue thanks so much, this really helpful. –  jinhyun Apr 27 at 8:54

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