English grammar – Countable Nouns As Adjectives (Now with AUDIO!)

Learn how to use Countable Nouns as Adjectives in today’s blog post. I’ll explain this English grammar using natural examples. This post now includes AUDIO for listening practice!

Do you know how to read these sentences?
“This is a $60 shirt.” / “This shirt is $60.”
This is a $60 shirt. = This is a sixty dollar shirt.
Easy right? Lets try the second sentence.
This shirt is $60. = This shirt is sixty dollars.
Did you get it right? In the first sentence we say “sixty dollar”, but in the second sentence we say “sixty dollars.” 
WHY???

Correctly use Countable Nouns as Adjectives

In the first sentence the subject (the main noun) is “shirt,” and $60 is an adjective. (Adjectives describe nouns)
If an amount of something, money, years, etc. is used as an adjective, it doesn’t get an S.
“He is a 12 (twelve) year old boy.” (the main subject is boy) not years
“I have a 5 (five) year contract with my company.” (the main subject is contract) not years
“I eat usually lunch at my office because I only have a 45 (forty-five) minute lunch break.” (the main subject is lunch break) not minutes

Dollars, years, hours, minutes are all countable nouns, that means if there is more than 1 dollar or more than 1 year we need to add an S on the end. (I have 5 dollars. He has lived in Toronto for 2 years.)

Remember that in the first example sentence $60 is not a noun, it’s an adjective, the main subject is the noun shirt. If you look at our second example sentence the main noun is the price of the shirt, $60.00 ~ so we say sixty dollars.

Countable Nouns as Adjectives – more examples

“That boy is 12 years old.”
“My contract is 5 years.”
“I usually eat lunch at my office because my lunch break is only 45 minutes.”

Please be careful, this is a $300,000 car!!!

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