young people (15-20) middle-aged people (25-35) and adulthood (+40). [error?]

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New Member
Hi everyone,
I have always used this forum in order to solve my doubts but this is my first doubt in the forum. Here is a sentence and this is supposed to have an error, my question is: where it is?

I have divided the participants into three groups: young people (15-20) middle-aged people (25-35) and adulthood (+40).
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome to the forum.
    I would say that the error is in the last word - adulthood. Life can be divided into stages - such as childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
    People can be divided into groups of people. Your last word should be simply adults - or, to be consistent with the other categories, people over 40 (years old).

    By the way, I think most people would agree that by the time you reach 18 or certainly 21 you would be called an adult, and some would argue that "middle age" begins around 40.

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would agree with Julian. You should be consistent in your use of "people" or stages; best not to mix the two.

    Also, you should include commas between each group.

    I have divided the participants into three groups: young people (15-20), middle-aged people (25-35), and people over 40 (+40).


    New Member
    Thank you veryyy muchh JulianStuart, the reason of this is that I have an exam next week and the teacher is going to put ten sentences like this one with an error to find and correct.

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    I have a problem with "middle-aged" in your example. In my opinion, no-one aged 25-35 would call themselves, or even think they are, middle-aged. Why look for a name for the group? Just say you divided them into three age groups - 15-20 (the ones that know everything :p), 25-35 (the ones that think they know everything :rolleyes:), and over 40 (the ones that probably don't think they know everything ;)).


    Senior Member
    English - American
    Once you get over about 30 or so, you are (to yourself) middle-aged. To those who are younger, you are unbearably old; to those who are older than you, you are barely out of diapers.

    The point being: age grouping is heavily influenced by your own age. I will guess that the original poster is about 20.

    At 68, I would class those under 50 as young, 50-70 as middle aged, and over 70 as old, although I reserve the right to raise that lower limit on old age in a few years.

    Edit: Sorry, we were teasing you. The perception of age is subject to such teasing. You sentence is not incorrect grammatically, but I do question the abrupt change from xxx-people, yyy-people and then to adulthood. It seems inelegant.

    Welcome to Word and you should know that we don't always tease like that.
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