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I would like to know which one is correct and if both are correct what is the difference. I want to say that some work was done more than 100 years ago.

Do I say:

This was done more than a century ago.

or

This was done more than century ago.

Somehow, I feel that the option including an article is correct in this case, but I am curious whether the other might be correct as well.

closed as off-topic by tchrist, phenry, FumbleFingers, user66974, Mitch Aug 9 '14 at 19:02

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  • @Andrew Leach. Actually the same question has come up from time to time during our ESS meeting, particularly because we don’t have the notion of numeral (singular and plural) and article (a, an, the) in our language system. When I’m asked by other ESS members, I always evade the question by saying “Don’t bother a minor point,” knowing it doesn’t make any sense. As far as I tried on Google, I got a dozen of examples including “a century ago,” but not a single “century ago.” I’d like to leave legit answers to you native speaking peers. – Yoichi Oishi Aug 8 '14 at 21:27
  • Thank you for the answer. I did not realize the results I was getting from google were mostly headlines. – Jindřich Prokop Aug 8 '14 at 21:42
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    This question would likely receive a better answer at ell.stackexchange.com. – phenry Aug 9 '14 at 1:08
3

The article should be included.

Century is a singular word and requires the use of an article when used like this.

  • Thank you for the answer. I did not realize the results I was getting from google were mostly headlines. I have yet another questions perhaps connected with this one. When I want to say I experienced something a month ago, do I start the sentence "Month ago, I went to the..." with an article or without one? For some reason it feels odd with an article, although month is singular and countable as well. – Jindřich Prokop Aug 8 '14 at 21:43
  • @JindřichProkop Yes, you should say A month ago, I went to the ... in English. – Frank Aug 9 '14 at 11:16

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