5

My girlfriend is going through resumés and thought this sentence fragment was grammatically incorrect:

"One plus years experience in..."

She thinks it should be either:

"One plus years' experience..."

or

"One plus years of experience..."

Which one is correct?

5

None is very felicitous. OED has this example:

1978 Jrnl. Royal Soc. Arts 126 617/2 It will be a hundred years plus before we have a significant contribution.

...which would indicate that "One year plus of experience" would be better than putting plus before year. It does sound better.

Better still would be to avoid it altogether and write "More than a year's experience..."


Having read the question better, it appears that there is no option on word order and the query is about whether years should be possessive.

Any positive number which is not exactly one is treated as a plural, but if we were to ignore the plus and treat it as exactly one, it would be written as either

  • one year's experience
  • one year of experience

Using a possessive form with a plural number we would write "two years' experience", so if that is to be used, then one plus years' experience would be correct. As would using of with no possessive, as suggested.

Neither reads well.

  • That would also do. (When answering, I wasn't sure whether "one plus" means "more than one" or "one or more".) – Teemu Leisti Jul 19 '13 at 8:09
  • @TeemuLeisti It means at least (see adjective 1) which could be "one or more", but in the context of one and a CV, it must be "more than". – Andrew Leach Jul 19 '13 at 8:12
  • I quite agree that the best option is to write “More than a year’s experience …” (or “More than a year of experience …”). “One year plus of experience”, however, does not mean the same thing for me. As the OED defines it: “After a figure, usually a round number: with the inclusion of a (fractionally) higher amount or value”. When used with a simple number like ‘one’, the fractional bit comes to the fore for me, and “one year plus” ends up meaning only “between one and two years” in my head. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 19 '13 at 10:22
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    @JanusBahsJacquet Surely they mean “between one and two years”? If they had 2y experience, surely they would have said that (instead of 1+) in their resumé. – TrevorD Jul 19 '13 at 11:00
  • Good point, actually. Somehow didn’t think about that. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 19 '13 at 12:10
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"One plus years" reads terrible. If the term is over a year but less than 2 years, I'd rather say something like

experience of over a year

or

over one year of experience

or similar to yours but meaningful-

1+ years of experience.

It is also good enough to write exact term in years and months since you mentioned resumés, like

An experience of one year and four months.

If it's over 1 year but less than 13 months, it's better to say

one year.

0

They all sound awful. I would say "one or more years of experience".

  • 1
    -1 "One or more years" (1) sounds as if the person doesn't know how much experience they have (which would be ridiculous); (2) it also includes two or more years (which is clearly inappropriate). – TrevorD Jul 19 '13 at 10:54
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    I started writing a rebuttal to your comment, but on reflection, I realized that you're right. If this were an employer imposing a condition on applicants, then "more than one year of experience" would be OK, but since it's an applicant's CV, they should know how much experience they have, and to express it better: perhaps something like "a bit over one years of experience", or "fourteen months of experience" or whatever. – Teemu Leisti Jul 19 '13 at 11:11
  • Thanks. I agree with you about "If this were an employer ...", which actually illustrates how meaning can change in context. – TrevorD Jul 19 '13 at 12:19

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