a 3-or 4-day vacation

kenny4528

Senior Member
Mandarin, Taiwan
Hi, I read the following sentence in a paragraph:

Most people will have a 3-or 4-day vacation during Thanksgiving.
Do you find the part I highlighted acceptable? It seems better to me to have it written like "a 3 or 4 day vacation", without the dash, I guess.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Hi, I read the following sentence in a paragraph:



    Do you find the part I highlighted acceptable? It seems better to me to have it written like "a 3 or 4 day vacation", without the dash, I guess.
    It wouldn't have shocked me to read it, although I would have thought there should be a space after 3-. Your version looks ok to me too.
     

    1vic

    Member
    Russian
    I do not know what is the rule about using digits instead of words in English but in many languages it would not be considered polite.

    a three- or four-day vocation

    It's just an observation. English is not my native language.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I do not know what is the rule about using digits instead of words in English but in many languages it would not be considered polite.

    a three- or four-day vocation

    It's just an observation. English is not my native language.
    I think using the full form is certainly more formal, although using a digit - in English at least - not impolite. I think that using a dash after the number written out in full is much more likely than after the numeral.
     
    If there is a dash between "4" or "four" and "day," then one is needed after "3/three" as well, and there should be a space between "3-" and "or 4-." The expression is shorthand for "three-day or four-day vacation." Dropping the first "day" doesn't eliminate the need for a dash and a space.

    In text messages and very informal writing (such as an e-mail to a friend), then "3-day" is fine. In most other writing, the number should be written out as "three-day."
     
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