a few hours' wait

Ivan_I

Senior Member
Russian
I wonder whether "a few" can become an adjective?

I know it's OK to say "a two-hour wait" or "two hours wait", but is it OK to say "a few-hour wait" instead of "a few hours' wait"?
 
  • kgildner

    Member
    English - Ottawa Valley
    In this case "a few hours wait" is correct.
    There is no apostrophe. The hours do not own the wait, even if it feels that way. <joke>
    Are you sure? One could posit, for example, that the wait "is of a few hours", thus creating a possessive situation and making the use of an apostrophe appropriate.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In this case "a few hours wait" is correct.
    There is no apostrophe. The hours do not own the wait, even if it feels that way. <joke>
    In the English I know you have a choice between a few-hours wait and a few hours' wait. This isn't a question of ownership but of the wait being of a few hours.

    I'm not going to make any jokes because they can make things less clear.:)
     
    Last edited:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't hear constructions using "a few-hour" to modify the following noun. I could not say "a few-hour wait".
    I agree entirely, SS.

    After all we don't usually say a few hour. But we do say a two-hour wait, and we don't say two hour much in other circumstances.

    Maybe there's some logic lurking here, but I can't see it immediately.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top