6
   

"20 foot cable" or "20 feet cable"? (WHICH IS CORRECT?)

 
 
Buffalo
 
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 05:46 pm
What is the correct way to say a cable is 20 ft. long?

"20 Foot long" or "20 Feet long"?

Just in case people say either is correct, I have added a polling feature.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 7,582 • Replies: 18
No top replies

 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 05:51 pm
Depends somewhat on context/ usage.

These are both correct:

"Use a 20-foot cable to attach the thingamabob to the doohickey."

"That cable is 20 feet long."

You need to hyphenate the number and measurement for it to be correct, though.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 05:52 pm
I'm going with "feet".
0 Replies
 
Buffalo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 05:56 pm
Doesn't it sound a little funny to say,"This is a 20-feet long cable"?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 05:58 pm
But it doesn't sound funny to say "This cable is 20 feet long".
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 06:06 pm
Buffalo, note the constructions I used.

"This is a 20-foot cable."

OR

"This cable is 20 feet long."

Your title asks "'20 foot cable' or '20 feet cable'? (WHICH IS CORRECT?)"

Of those two sentence fragments, "20-foot cable" (with hyphen) is more correct.

If you add the word "long", as you do later, then the way to say it is "This cable is 20 feet long."
0 Replies
 
Eskimo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 02:42 am
I think that the correct way is:
A twenty feet long cable
or...
A twenty foot cable


Not sure if i'm right, just a speculation
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 08:23 am
Adjectives should not be used in plural form.

2-car garage.
20-foot cable.
0 Replies
 
Wy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 12:53 pm
Thank you, Sozobe and Craven. This is easy for me but difficult for some, and I think you have both given clear and correct help!

Eskimo, you're right when you say "twenty-foot cable" (except as Soz says, you need the hyphen), but you're using the same part of speech (adjective) when you say "twenty-foot-long" - that is, the phrase "twenty-foot-long" describes "cable".

The time to use the plural "feet" is when you are NOT using "twenty feet" as an adjective. In the sentence "The cable is twenty feet long" the phrase is, I think, a predicate phrase telling what the cable "is"...

It's been a loooong time since grammar class. I'm sure of the construction, just not of the terminology...
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 01:08 pm
Wy, that's what I have the biggest problem with, too. I know what looks right and what looks wrong but know very little about the terminology needed to explain it. Craven said "adjective" and I said oh, that makes sense, but hadn't thought of that until he said so.
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Oct, 2005 07:09 am
i went with foot because of an old expression, i wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole--Ronald Reagan used it, so it must be correct, right?--but it's good to know that the phrase is gramatically correct.
0 Replies
 
Hsn549
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 12:18 pm
After searching and reading every ones opinions on this mater I came across an answer I believe is correct. In this forum here http://www.englishforums.com/English/FeetFootDistanceMeasurement/dwb/post.htm The last answer to the foot or feet question stopped the forum in its tracks. The answer was (Foot is correct. It is both the plural and singular when referring to measurement (1 foot, 100 foot, 1000 foot tall/high/wide etc). Feet are the two things on the end of your legs. Many people erroneously use 'feet' as a plural in this context and consequently get themselves into a muddle with certain sentences (and sound like a 4 year old for the rest of the time).)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 01:47 pm
@Hsn549,
On this mater? Whose mater, yours? The wife of your pater? You've lost me here.
timur
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 01:56 pm
@Setanta,
He doesn't seem to have graduated from an alma mater..
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 02:02 pm
Alma was his mom?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 02:09 pm
King Charles II was a randy cocksman, and he had many bastard children. Those whose mothers were of the aristocratic class got titles and incomes. But one of his long-time lovers was the former actress and "orange-seller" (i.e., hooker) Nell Gwynn. A few years after the birth of her first son by him, Charles Beauclerk, she started calling "you little bastard" whenever she was in the presence of the King. It finally got on Charles' last nerve and he asked her why she kept calling him that. Nell replied that he hadn't any other name. Soon thereafter, Charles created him Earl of Burford and gave him an income.

During the anti-Catholic rioting Nell's carriage was stopped by a mob as it left Whitehall Palace. Nell leaned out and said something to the effect of "Gentle, good people, this is the Prostestant whore." The crowd had a good laugh, and saw her safely on her way.

They just don't make kings and queens as they used to do . . . nor maters and paters, either.
timur
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 02:10 pm
Does that matter?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 02:31 pm
No, it's just idle patter.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 02:56 pm
@Setanta,
I used to deliver newspapers to Nell Gwynne's house. They now restore Mosquito aircraft there.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Aircraft_Heritage_Centre
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Thou or thee? - Question by Aubert23
Trying to improve my english - Question by luismtzzz
Question - Question by 1jane1
Who Versus Whom - Question by mboog
Grammatically correct? - Question by Advocate
 
  1. Forums
  2. » "20 foot cable" or "20 feet cable"? (WHICH IS CORRECT?)
Copyright © 2014 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 07/30/2014 at 01:00:58