over-ten-page document

Discussion in 'English Only' started by taked4700, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. taked4700 Senior Member

    japanese japan

    I know that you use expressions like "document over twenty pages".

    How about "over-twenty-page document"?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Did you have a complete sentence in mind?
  3. taked4700 Senior Member

    japanese japan
    Thank you, Andygc.

    Let me think of some sentences:

    1. I left my over-ten-page document on the table, but now I can't find it.

    2. He assigned me to write over-ten-page report on that matter.

    Thanks in advance.
  4. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    I have to say neither of them sound very plausible. The first one: if you've lost a document you would not bother mentioning the precise page count of it. It sounds daft.

    The second one is more likely, assignments have length stipulations, but you need an article in the sentence:

    He assigned me to write a report. He wants over ten pages. (or ... he wants me to write an over ten page report)

    I would add the length afterwards because I find it quite clunky trying to use over ten pages as a modifier in the way you are suggesting.

    If you are interested in the flexibilty of this type of construction this might be a good case for using Google or a corpus to find real examples in every-day use.
  5. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    I think it sounds odd and I can't think of a way that it would seem natural. In the first sentence, why would it matter how many pages there are? It would seem natural to say that took some reading, the document was over twenty pages or he wants me to write a report of over 10 pages.

    So yes, you could write it, but I can't think of a situation where you would need to or where it would sound right.

    PS typing slower than suzi :)
  6. taked4700 Senior Member

    japanese japan
    Thank you, Suzi and Andygc.

    I happened to come across a sentence that contains something like ten-page complaint.

    This encounter made me curious how far it goes, if the modifier-part contains a preposition or adverb, does it make sense...or not. And I thought of an expression like 'over-thousand-page' book

    Now it is clear for me that this sort of construction is not ungrammatical and there's a chance to be use in some context.

    Thanks again,
  7. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Ah yes, that makes sense and is natural usage. I would not expect over-ten-pages complaint though, I'd expect 11-page complaint, 12-page complaint (etc) or more than ten-page{s} complaint.
  8. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
  9. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

  10. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I wouldn't recommend using "over-ten-page document," but it is the sort of thing you hear people say, particularly if they are speaking off the cuff. Not many would write it, and most wouldn't say it if they had a chance to think about what they're going to say, but you do hear this sort of thing.
  11. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    I couldn't have said it any better. I completely agree with this.

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