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Usually I find compound adjectives quite straightforward, but I'm not so sure when it comes to the following:

A 210-million-people market

So how should I refer to a market 210 million people large with a compound adjective before the noun?

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  • Maybe a market with a 210-million-demographic.
    – user150753
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 9:47
  • No. A market with a 210-million demographic. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 9:51
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    Hyphens are customary and usual. Inverted commas - no. Do not give personal opinions as advice. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 12:08
  • @Jeep, "No. A market with a 210-million demographic", but a 210-million-demographic market. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 13:02
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    Possible duplicate of Hyphenation in compound adjectives (this is the one with the most relevant title, but this subject has been done to death.) eg hyphenating measurements ... 'a hundred-meter race, a 250-page book, a fifty-year project, a three-inch-high statuette, it's three inches high,'. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:44

1 Answer 1

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Although “a 210-million-people market” follows the rules of punctuation, as Phil Sweet and Araucaria pointed out, grammatically it should be “a 210-million-person” market. I suggest making it “a market of 210 million people,” which is easier to read and say.

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  • I would support the second one; in inverted commas, and without hyphens.
    – Ram Pillai
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:18
  • Technically “a market of 210 million people” is correct. Too. But I'm not sure that 'technically' means much. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:22
  • I meant that it follows the rules of punctuation, so it's not wrong. I guess I should have said that instead of "technically." Thanks for pointing that out.
    – Literalman
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:53
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    Am I the only one who thinks it needs to be person, not people? Like 20 Mule Team Borax.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 19:53

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