At first this might seem like the same thing. They both sound correct, and surely it can’t be wrong to have “minutes” in the plural form. 60 is, after all, a large number that requires the plural form.
60 minute long English lessons
However, only one of these is correct and that is: 60 minute long English lessons ✅. The reason for this is simple. The main noun in this long phrase is “lessons.”
In order to understand why this is the case let me explain what a noun phrase is. Simply put a noun phrase is a group of words that form around a central noun. This is the main part of the phrase, and everything around it has to match it.
In 60 minute long English lessons the word LESSONS is the central noun. It is in the plural form, and because of this nothing else can be in the plural form. 60 minute long English lessons in this case used as adjectives to describe the central noun LESSONS.
This rule applies to any short or long noun phrase.
- 50 foot tall German-built 1950s skyscraper
- reckless over 200 kilometers per hour car chase
- distinct red and white-tailed Siberian fox cub
As you can see, when you identify which word is the central noun you can make sure the rest of the phrase is used to describe only that noun. In any case, just making sure there is only one plural form is a good first step.
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