She's about five foot three?

lilyyang tw Taiwan

I saw a sentence in a dictionary as below:

I'd say she's about five foot three (=five feet and three inches).

And I don't understand it used five FOOT three instead of five feet three in the sentence.

Thank you!!!

November 06 at 08:13
  • rafaelnajera de Germany

    That's just how heights and other measurements are reported in English. It's better just to get used to it:

    "She's a 50 year old woman"

    "That's a 2 mile walk"

    "That's a 10 pound turkey"

    But, we also say in English:

    "She is 50 years old"

    "You need to walk 2 miles"

    "The turkey weighs 10 pounds"

    Hope this helps.

    November 06 at 10:23
  • khardy us United States

    This is somewhat idiomatic, and probably related to use of the singular form when used as an adjective.

    The road is five miles long. It is a five mile road.

    The snake is five feet long. It is a five foot snake. It is a five foot long snake.

    The building is five stories tall. It is a five story building.

    (Should there be hyphens in there? five-mile road, five-foot snake, five-story building?)

    "The road is long. How long? Five miles." Here "long" is an adjective modifying the noun "road", and "five miles" is an adverbial phrase. A word or phrase that modifies an adjective is an adverb. The plural form is used in an adverbial phrase like this.

    "It is a five mile road." (five-mile road?) Here "five mile" describes the noun, so it is an adjective.

    Your example is a truncated form. The specifics might change if it was expanded:

    "She's about five feet three inches tall" is probably more proper.

    "She's about five foot three inches tall" sounds fine, may be idiomatic.

    "She's about five foot three inch tall" Nope, doesn't work.

    "She is a five foot three inch tall woman." Plural "inches" would not work here.

    If I was submitting this in formal writing, I'd have to check a style guide for whether there should be hyphens in there somewhere. Some other maven may correct me here.

    November 06 at 16:03
    • jungleboy au Australia

      >> (Should there be hyphens in there? five-mile road, five-foot snake, five-story building?)

      Yes :)

      November 08 at 05:58
  • ericb100 us United States

    I found this link. That might help..

    November 06 at 17:32
    • lilyyang tw Taiwan

      Thanks a lot!

      November 06 at 22:40
  • LILingquist us United States

    Excellent explanations, guys!

    November 07 at 03:39
  • Albannach gb United Kingdom

    Compound adjectives are not countable. A fourteen-foot boat or a 26 mile marathon could be hyphenated or not depending on style.

    January 16 at 15:22