5 pounds' deposit = a 5-pound deposit?

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eyeball_tickler

Member
Japanese
I know "a 5-minute walk" is the same as "5 minutes' walk", but is the same rule applicable to the following cases?

a) "a 5-pound deposit" vs "5 pounds' deposit"
b) "2-week notice" vs "2 weeks' notice"

The thing is my text book lists "a 5-pound deposit" and "2 weeks' notice" as correct answers, but not the other two, so I started thinking that there may be some rules that I am not aware of...?

Thank in advance!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think the other two are left out simply because we don't normally use them, preferring these constructions:

    You can reserve this item with a 5-pound deposit.
    I'm giving my two weeks' notice and leaving this job.


    I own a five-pound iguana.
    I'm going on a two-week holiday.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I'm happy with either of the following.

    I gave a two-week notice.
    I gave two weeks' notice.

    (And I agree with Copyright that the second version is much more common.)

    However, the second of the following sounds impossible to me.

    I left a £5 deposit
    I left five pounds' deposit

    and I don't know why. :(
     

    eyeball_tickler

    Member
    Japanese
    Mmmmmm, thanks so much, all of you!
    It's always a good idea to come here when I'm struglling quite badly...:)

    I mean I probably wouldn't say "5 pounds' deposit" myself, but then I just couldn't fugure out why not, particularly when "5 minuts' walk" is perfectly acceptable...

    Similarly I personally would go for "a 2-tonne truck" rather than "2 tonnes' truck", but am I correct in thinking that the latter sounds odd...?

    If so, would it be right to assume the general rule is that only 'time' (not money, weight etc...) is the exception where "2 weeks' notice" or "5 minutes' walk" type structure sounds natural...?
     
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