Is this sentence grammatically incorrect: "The book is 20 pages."

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.
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Is this sentence grammatically incorrect: "The book is 20 pages."

Post by Scott » 13 Sep 2019, 13:32

As a matter of objective grammar rules, without the strictness of a specific style guide or geographic vernacular, is the following sentence grammatically incorrect:

"The book is 20 pages."


Why or why not?

What about the following similar sentences:

"The race is 13 miles."

"The building is 20 floors."

"The schoolchildren in the class are all 11 years."

"The movie is two hours."

Are all those all grammatically okay? All incorrect? Some okay and some not okay?

Keep in mind, I'm not asking how you would write those sentences or asking if there are clearer and better ways to write those sentences. Rather, I am asking simply whether they are objectively grammatically incorrect as written.
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Post by AutumnBussey » 13 Sep 2019, 14:14

Without being an expert or using google, I’d say they’re missing an adjective.

The book is 20 pages long.

The building is 20 floors high.

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Post by Juliet+1 » Yesterday, 16:23

I think they are all incorrect for two reasons. First, the verb "is" states an equivalence. A race is not the same as a mile, and a book is not a page or even a collection of pages. Second, unless you state a unit of measurement, you are making the reader work too hard (not nice), and some of the sentences could be misunderstood. Are all of the children 11 years old? Or are they 11 years behind in their math skills? :wink:

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