How many parts make up something?

May 22, 2014

When we want to indicate how many parts make up something in English, the number precedes the part and the part precedes the main noun as follow:

 

NUMBER + PART + MAIN NOUN

 

For instance:

We travelled in a six-carriage train.

I have a three-hour meeting tomorrow.

I’m very tired after a seven-hour flight.

 

On the other hand, when we want to indicate how many parts make up something in Spanish, the main noun precedes the number and the number precedes the part.

Also, between the main noun and the number the preposition DE is required.

 

MAIN NOUN + DE + NUMBER + PART

 

For instance:

Viajamos en un tren de 6 vagones. We travelled in a six-carriage train.

Mañana tengo una reunión de 3 horas. I have a three-hour meeting tomorrow.

Estoy muy cansado después de un vuelo de 10 horas. I’m very tired after a ten-hour flight.

 

Note in English the singular form is always used for the part. Nevertheless, in Spanish you must use the plural form.

 

El rugby se juega entre dos equipos de 15 jugadores.

Rugby is played between two fifteen-player teams.

Player: singular

Jugadores: plural

 

Acaban de comprarse un barco de 20 metros.

They have just bought a twenty-metre boat.

Metre: singular

Metros: plural

 

Más vale que nos acostemos. Mañana tenemos que hacer un viaje de nueve horas en coche.

We had better go to bed. We have to make a nine-hour car journey tomorrow.

Hour: singular

Horas : plural

 

María escribió una carta de ocho páginas.

María wrote an eight-page letter.

Page: singular

Páginas: plural

 

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