should use singular or plural with numbers ? 5 years experienced or 5 year experienced?



Being a student of English language I'm confuse should I use singular or plural with number greater then 1?

For example, please consider and guide if I'm wrong in my use:

I'm a 5 years experienced accountant

or it should be:

I'm a 5 year experienced accountant


Posted 2014-07-03T10:43:50.443

Reputation: 160

Question was closed 2016-06-02T14:52:45.257

The question linked by ColleenV addresses your concern; but ЯegDwight is quite right: a) we do not use experienced this way, and b) the contraction of I am requires an apostrophe, I'm. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2016-06-02T13:21:00.243

2Neither is English, you will have to reword. "Accountant with five years of experience", or "accountant with experience of five years". Also, "I m" is not English, either. Where have you seen that? Do not do that. – ЯegDwight – 2014-07-03T10:46:34.633

@ЯegDwight, how I will say if need to use experienced, is it correct "I m a five years experienced accountant" ?

Thanks – user576510 – 2014-07-03T10:51:17.587



Most of your examples sound odd with you using the word experienced; I think your root question may be addressed more easily with experience.

The word year may be left singular or pluralized, depending on how it's used:

My internship in San Diego was a five-year experience.

Here, the hyphen allows the words five and year to function together as a single adjective, modifying the word experience.

I acquired five years of experience during my internship in San Diego.

Here, five indicates the number of years, so the word years gets pluralized – unless the number happens to be one (1):

I will acquire one year of experience during my internship in San Diego.
I will acquire twelve months of experience during my internship in San Diego.


Posted 2014-07-03T10:43:50.443

Reputation: 108 123


As ЯegDwight says, neither is English. Also, it's than 1 and you must use apostrophe to write I'm... to mean I am... However, even though you write it that way...

I'm a 5 year experienced accountant or I'm a 5 years experienced accountant, it's not proper.

Generally, we say...

I'm an accountant with five years of experience or with experience of five years.

But then you want to use the word experienced. So...

I'm an experienced accountant works fine.

That's because you want that word to be used as an adjective whereas our examples use it as a noun.

I'm not utterly sure about it but let others comment on this usage. However, this usage looks a bit odd -

I'm a 5-yr-experienced accountant which makes the entire set of words an adjective as in a 5-yr-old kid.

Maulik V

Posted 2014-07-03T10:43:50.443

Reputation: 66 188

The fact that you suggested both with five years of experience and with experience of five years triggered my grammar alarm. I'm only used to the first one. – Damkerng T. – 2014-07-03T12:00:52.907

4Experience of five years is awkward: it suggests that you witnessed or suffered that timespan. I would say "I'm an accountant with five years' experience." – StoneyB on hiatus – 2014-07-03T12:25:54.993

@StoneyB It's common in InE again! *A candidate with experience of 5 years or more is suitable for this position*. Also,

– Maulik V – 2014-07-03T12:54:21.130

2It's interesting to know it's a common construction in India, but anyone reading your answer should also know it would sound awkward elsewhere. – J.R. – 2014-07-03T14:43:33.320

@J.R. We had enough talk on this. It's still surprising that what's practiced in InE I always learn is generally found awkward outside. – Maulik V – 2014-07-03T15:34:39.553

@MaulikV - I don't know what you mean by "enough talk on this." All answers on SE are supposed to be credible. I can leave a comment letting people know, "This doesn't sound right to my ear" (and accept that it's a viable option somewhere else), or I could downvote the answer to indicate disagreement. I much prefer the first option of leaving a comment and learning something interesting. – J.R. – 2014-07-03T21:13:00.743

@J.R. no bitterness at all but it has happened innumerable times (especially in my answers) that what I think natural ultimately happens to be InE and even surprising is it turns out to be awkward in other dialects. Remember Where did you get the degree from? In a day... and other instances? And my question on Meta. It's all past but whenever I come across the similar incidence, it freshens up. That's it. Anyway, would you mind telling me - What about a 5-yr-experienced accountant...? Is that okay? – Maulik V – 2014-07-04T04:22:50.657

@StoneyB What about a 5-yr-experienced accountant...? Is that okay? – Maulik V – 2014-07-04T04:23:50.203

1@MaulikV It's intelligible, but odd to my ears.... But is OP writing for my ears - American ears? – StoneyB on hiatus – 2014-07-04T04:57:23.087

I concur with @Stoney - if I was hiring in India, and I knew that was the preferred way of saying it, I'd word it that way. Here in the U.S. though, my want ad would read, " with at least 5 years experience." – J.R. – 2014-07-04T09:54:34.347

@J.R. years --with or without apostrophe? – Maulik V – 2014-07-04T09:57:23.640


@Maulik - Ah, that's a great question! You can add an apostrophe after the s, or include the word of, i.e.: "at least five years' experience" or "at least five years of experience." In a want ad, though, the less formal "at least 5 years experience" is often used, and I'd consider it acceptable for a help wanted post – simply because it's more concise (the of is elided). But not everyone agrees; more here.

– J.R. – 2014-07-04T10:24:44.323


This is a plural possessive: "five years' experience."

It is not a contraction.

I have one year's experience -- I have one year of experience

I have five years' experience-- I have five years of experience

possessive of "year" is year's

possessive of "years" is years'

jay gamel

Posted 2014-07-03T10:43:50.443

Reputation: 9

While you're correct about the apostrophe, you don't address the OP's actual question (should I use the singular or plural with numbers) or their example sentence. – ColleenV – 2016-06-01T19:36:22.643