eighty years’ imprisonment

rubes1

Senior Member
United States, English
"One of the terrorists told her that he was a former prisoner who had been sentenced to eighty years’ imprisonment."

Why the apostrophe here. Is it correct?

Thanks.
 
  • Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    If English is your mother tongue, you can usually work out these things by using a singular, and checking whether an s is added.

    I would say "He was sentenced to one month's imprisonment", thus I would also say "He was sentenced to eighty years' imprisonment."

    If you turned the phrase around it would become "a term of imprisonment of eighty years".
     

    Iona

    Senior Member
    English England
    Hi - It's the possessive case ..eg singular ..the boy's books or plural the boys' books .It is also used in time expressions as in your example ... a week's holiday or two weeks' holiday - Iona
     
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