What about "It was three hours' drive to work" and "It was three hours' distance to work"?
Is the noun drive a mass noun?What about "It was three hours' drive to work" and "It was three hours' distance to work"?
No. We go for "a drive".Is the noun drive a mass noun?
The noun commute works perfectly with the adverbial use. Actually you can use the apostrophe or not, and in both cases it is grammatically correct:What about "It was three hours' commute to work" and "It was a three-hour commute to work"?
I suppose the latter is correct. What about the first? I've got a hunch that it patterns with trip (and is thus incorrect), but commute is indeed something we do.
... Actually you can use the apostrophe or not, and in both cases it is grammatically correct:
It was 3 hours' commute to work.
It was 3 hours commute to work. ...
Sorry, Dojibear and Kuleshov, but I don't know where you got these false ideas. You have two ways of turning "three hours" into an adjective:Dojibear said:"It was a three hour commute to work." (no hyphen, no apostrophe).
If you wrote like that on the SAT or GMAT, you would lose points.Yes, I agree: I always use the apostrophe in these expressions. It just so happens that a lot of native speakers don't use the apostrophe, and it's just a question of time for the version without the apostrophe to be accepted.
Languages are constantly evolving and changing...
If you want to check, type in minutes walk on The National British Corpus, and have a look at the hits.