0

I am looking for a noun meaning 'having 300 thousand inhabitants' so that I could say for example 'a 300-thousand city' instead of 'a city in which 300 thousand people live' or 'a city inhabited by 300 thousand people' etc. can I use the former form, and if not, is it possible to use another noun to do so?

1
  • English doesn't have a word corresponding to lahk. The standard way to phrase this in English is to say "A city with a population of 300,000".
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:07

1 Answer 1

3

Simple answer: no.

While I’m sure you could employ Latin or Greek numerals to somehow conjure up an adjective (which is what you’re looking for, by the way—not a noun) that means ‘having 300,000’, doing so would be fairly pointless, because it would probably be a behemoth of a word, and nobody would understand it anyway.

The pithiest way I can think of to express ‘a city with 300,000 inhabitants’ is to simply call it a city of 300,000. That should be understood in most contexts, even though it’s perhaps not always the most stylistically elegant phrasing.

The construction you suggest, a 300,000 city, is ungrammatical. It is possible to use numeral + noun as an adjunct, and in some cases this sounds perfectly natural and is elegant enough: a five-dollar bill or a three-page letter are both fine, and one-man army and 8/16/32-bit colour are fixed phrases that would never be expressed differently.

But this construction absolutely requires that the thing counted be mentioned. Moreover, it is not a very ‘scaleable’ construction: it works fine with smaller numbers and simple nouns, but it becomes very inelegant and unidiomatic very quickly. A 300,000-inhabitant city is quite far beyond the limit of what this construction can handle—it is unidiomatic and cumbersome to the point of being quite difficult to understand in speech.

3
  • 1
    +1 for the simplification to the minimal, elegant "A city of 300,000".
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:08
  • "Absolutely requires" is wrong; a ten-thousand strong army is perfectly idiomatic, not to say time-honoured. Not sure about a million-strong city, though. Aug 23, 2014 at 12:50
  • @TimLymington Strong in that case acts as the thing being counted; I would consider it a nominalised adjective. Aug 23, 2014 at 12:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.