'set of seven cards' versus 'seven cards set'


Senior Member
Hello, friends! :)

I recently created a thread in which I discussed usage of 'a little money loss' phrase. Now it occurred to me that it was simply the inverse order of words to substitute of-phrase:
a loss of little money = a little money loss.
Now I'm guessing if such pattern can be used with other words. For example:
a set of seven cards = a seven cards set
Can't think of any other examples, but is it OK to say like that? And if so, what rule does it fall in?

Thanks in advance!
  • MaximuS.111

    Senior Member
    Close: a seven-card set. We usually omit the indication of plural when we reduce an of-phrase to an adjective.
    Thanks for dropping by, exgerman! So what you're saying that I was right to think that such pattern - reducing an of-phrase to an adjective - existed? And if I catch it correctly, it can be used not necessarily to indicate possession, but for other purposes as well?
    Could you please list some other examples of such of-phrase reduction? And maybe you're familiar with any source where this rule is broadly explained?


    Senior Member
    English - US
    See my comment on your other thread as I don't think your pattern is as predictable as you think, i.e. seven card set is set of seven cards, but small card set could be small set of cards or set of little cards.


    Senior Member
    small card set could be small set of cards or set of little cards.
    Yes, you're absolutely right. That one is tricky.
    But the pattern works with numbers, right? For example: it is a building of 24 floors=it's a 24 floor building.


    English - England
    I think you can take it, not as a rule, but as good guidance. Famously, Sherlock Holmes had a "three pipe problem" (i.e. he would have to smoke three pipes of tobacco to be able to concentrate and thus solve the problem.) He did not have "a problem of three pipes."
    The Red-Headed League: "It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes."
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