1

Here is a sentence excerpted from an APA psychological research paper,

Teen suicide is a growing health concern. It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed only by homicide and accidents, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

I've heard people use both "people aged from X to Y" and "people ages from X to Y" quite often, but I've always been believing that only the former is grammatically correct, whereas in the latter the "ages" doesn't seem to serve as any grammatical component of this sentence. So when I see an APA paper use "ages" in that way, I am just quite surprised: I just can't believe such an authoritative and rigourous academic institution will let such an explicit (and indeed naive, even to a non-native speaker's eyes) grammatical mistake survive in their publications. I'm aware that in daily language usage one ought not to become so fussy over insignificant matters like this, but I do wonder whether it should be paid attention to in academic writings.

OR, using "ages" in that way is no longer considered a grammatical mistake? Honestly I don't think this'd be true, but if it really is, I'd be grateful to be informed. Thanks!

1

In this context, it's a typo and should be written aged, as you note.

Aged Predicative or postpositive adjective Having lived for a specified length of time; of a specified age: 'young people aged 14 to 18'; 'he died aged 60' - ODO

The present tense can be used in similar sentences like This class is for ages 5 to 7. However, here "age 5", "age 6" and "age 7" are each treated as a noun phrase, with the aggregation written as "ages 5 to 7".

The sentence you quote (mis)uses "ages" as an adjective, not a noun or a noun phrase, so the proper term should be aged.

  • But couldn't you also say "from the age of 5"? And "Children start reading between the ages of 4 and 7" (for example)? Wouldn't the example cited then be a case of elision? – Mari-Lou A Mar 20 '16 at 9:57
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA You could, but aren't those using age(s) of X as noun phrases rather than adjectives? – Lawrence Mar 20 '16 at 9:59
  • Perhaps the OP is confused between the NP and adjective? – Mari-Lou A Mar 20 '16 at 10:00
  • That's what my answer tries to clear up. Perhaps I haven't been clear enough about it :/ . – Lawrence Mar 20 '16 at 10:01
  • 1
    No, I didn't read your answer properly. Sorry! – Mari-Lou A Mar 20 '16 at 10:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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