Between the age of 2 and 5

Mike2947

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi


Is "Between the age of 2 and 5" correct or I need to say "Between the ages of 2 and 5"

"Many experts have substantiated that children between the age of 2 and 5 are very intelligent and can learn new languages much easier than adults."


Regards,
 
  • Tracer

    Senior Member
    American English
    "Between the AGES of 2 and 5" is correct.

    However, "between the age..." is an error that's often made, even by native speakers.
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    And in fact, native speaker pubman seems to be endorsing it.
    In AE for sure you need to say "ages." Don't know about BE.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I don't find between the age of 2 and 5 jarring. Here are examples of similar constructions in the BNC.*
    • In another case in Mid Glamorgan, a young man between the age of 11 and 16 -- I pass over six or seven pages of antecedents -- was involved in 32 burglaries, 34 thefts, 15 offences of criminal damage and 41 offences involving motor vehicles, but the most severe penalty that he received was a supervision order for 12 months. (from the Hansard, the parliamentary records)
    • Most of these were between the age of 15 and 30, and the majority who died were unidentified. (Keesings Contemporary Archives)
    • Professor Richard Madeley and a team at Nottingham University Hospital studied 1,376 patients including 1,073 men and 303 women between the age of 25 and 84 with suspected heart attacks. (Belfast Telegraph)
    You could see this as ellipsis: between the age of 2 and [the age of] 5.

    Nat

    *British National Corpus
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Between the ages of 2 and 5" is probably how I'd say/write it. But I don't think "between the age of 2 and 5" can really be called an error - it's surely elliptical for "between the age of 2 and [the age of] 5"?


    EDIT: I hadn't seen Nat's post when I posted this. But I see we agree:).
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    That first example is different, as it talks about one person. The original sentence is talking about children in general.

    The third example is different because it talks about the age of two years, only one age, so clearly it is age singular.

    The middle example, well, yes. But it's just one example. You can find incorrect examples in American English too. But definitely I can say in my country, any good editor would put that original sentence in a plural.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The third example is different because it talks about the age of two years, only one age, so clearly it is age singular.
    I don't understand, Embonpoint. How is Nat's third example - which you seem happy with - different from Mike's example in post 1?:confused:
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    Nat, did you change your third example? Unless I'm going crazy, it originally said something like "between the age of 2 and puberty," which made perfect sense to me.

    And yes, the third example as currently stated in Nat's post is right on track. Of course, since this is the corpus, not a grammar book it doesn't mean it's right. My knowledge of British English is nearly zero, so I can't say.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Sorry, Embonpoint. I did change it. Sorry about that. You must have read it immediately. :) I saw that it wasn't a good example and changed it within a minute (so the system doesn't record that I edited it).

    EDIT:
    I've found the example I removed, and it might be useful to have it recorded since it was commented on: I agree with Embonpoint on this.
    By " childhood " we mean here the years between the age of about two years and the beginning of puberty.
    There were 16 instances of between the age of, and I think 10 of them illustrate Mike's structure.

    I have since looked in COCA* and there are a number of examples of this too.

    *Corpus of Contemporary American English
     
    Last edited:

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    It is my opinion that the ones in the American Corpus are wrong. As stated above correctly, this is an error commonly made by native speakers but fusspots editors correct it. And I'm on the side of the fusspot editors.
     
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