I think if I wrote "a good ten minutes' walk away" then an apostrophe is required as shown.

If I write "a good ten minutes away", where 'walk' is implied from the context, is it still required?

3 Answers 3


I would say that it is forbidden to use an apostrophe in "a good ten minutes away".

Comparison with the situation in the singular may make this clear: *"an hour's away" seems clearly unacceptable to me, whereas "an hour away" is acceptable. Also, when the word away is used with the word foot, which takes an irregular plural, we say things like "five feet away" and not *"five feet's away".

I agree with with what Michael Harvey says about the apostrophe only being used with duration words when a noun follows (as in five days' work). Away is not a noun.

I'm not sure whether you meant to suggest this, but I don't think "a good ten minutes away" contains any kind of implicit noun after the word "minutes". Rather, "ten minutes" seems to be used here as a measurement of distance. Using the word "minutes" to refer to distance is semantically indirect, but as far as I can tell, "ten minutes" takes the exact same syntactic role here as a phrase that refers to distance more literally, such as "two miles" or "twenty meters".


No apostrophe for the second example, where the time (duration) is not linked to a noun (walk, wait, etc).

We can use an apostrophe + s to show duration. When the time noun is plural, the apostrophe comes after the s:

For me, writing an essay involves at least an hour’s work.

It was just ten minutes’ walk from my house to my office. (the walk from my house to my office takes just ten minutes)

Apostrophe (Cambridge)


"a good ten minutes' walk away"

No apostrophe is required if the sentence is as follows:

It was a ('good' in the sense of ample) ten minute walk from my house to my office.

  • 1
    This answer doesn't seem to address the question about how to write "a good ten minutes away".
    – herisson
    Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 18:37

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