One / a day or two

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Cesar A. D.

Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Good evening!

According to my book (Advanced Grammar in Use):
  • I’m going to London for a day or two. :tick:
  • I’m going to London for one day or two. :cross:
I don't really understand why a is the correct word to use. It seems to me that in this sentence the word should be a numeral not an article. (it's one day or two, not three days or four)

Thank you very much.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The second sentence should be:

    I'm going to London for one or two days.:tick:

    It's the "two" that is the problem. Using this adjective as a noun doesn't work.

    I'm going to London for a day.:tick:
    I'm going to London for one day.:tick:

    "A day or two" is an idiom. It does not mean "one day or two days". It means "one day, and possible longer...maybe 2 or 3 or 4 days".

    Once you stop using the idiom you must obey grammar. You can't change A into B:

    A. I'm going to London for one day or two days.:tick:
    B. I'm going to London for one day or two.:cross:
     
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