a several century-long tradition

  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    'a several centuries long tradition' - several is followed by a plural noun. = a tradition that is several centuries long.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Wrong. Several-century-long is an adjective and adjectives don't have a plural in English (compare: a five-foot-high wall). And the structure of a several centuries long tradition is very hard to define.

    To avoid the dilemma, you could say a tradition several centuries long, which I think is better. Seven-syllable triple-decker adjectives are too cumbersome.
     
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