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I have a noun, "second", that I need to make possessive in the sentence,

It's like having a second's slower reflexes.

When I make it plural, the apostrophe comes after the s.

It's like having two seconds' slower reflexes.

However, my noun is actually a quarter second. You only use the singular noun when there is exactly one of it, so you use the plural for zero and fragments of the noun.

They finished the task with zero seconds remaining.

They finished the task with .25 seconds remaining.

Since the noun in my sentence is plural, does that mean that for the possessive the apostrophe comes after the s, or since it is not more than one, does it come before the s? (My intuition says it comes after.)

It's like having a quarter seconds' slower reflexes.

It's like having a quarter second*'s* slower reflexes.

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    I don't understand why you're trying to make it possessive in the first place. The reflexes are a second slower. They are not a second's slower. – RegDwigнt Oct 5 '18 at 18:40
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on a misunderstanding of when to use possessives. – jimm101 Oct 5 '18 at 18:45
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    If you want a more common phrase, "That would cost half a years' salary." Surely, you've heard this expression before. – dx_over_dt Oct 6 '18 at 17:43
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    A year doesn't have a salary. A more semantically correct phrasing would be, "That is half my annual salary!" If you insist on using the idiom you're referencing, it would be, "That is half a year's salary!" This is because you're meaning, presumably, the amount of money you earn in a single year. – R Mac Oct 6 '18 at 19:39
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    The answer would not change, and the article you used helps you see why. It's "a half year", "a" meaning one (half of a year). It's not 0.5 years, it's one half of a year. You therefore use the singular. However, if you were to instead say "0.5", it would indeed be "0.5 years' salary". I don't suggest ever doing that, though, because it seem very out of place. – R Mac Oct 7 '18 at 0:54

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