three hundred dollars bail -- shouldn't it be "three hundred dollar bail" without an "s"?


Link to the Youtube video (it's right at the beginning of the video when the reporter says that)


James Rhein is out on three hundred dollars bail after being charged with criminal mischief. He tells me he doesn’t think this is that big of a deal. And he adds that his wife is "fine with it."

Why does she say three hundred dollar bail with an "s" on the end of dollar? Isn't that grammatically wrong? We don't say, for example, he is a five years old boy; we say, he is a five year old boy. What is really going on here grammatically?
I, actually, was told that many Americans do say three hundred dollars bail, but no explanation was offered.

Michael Rybkin

Posted 2015-02-08T23:48:21.833

Reputation: 37 124



It’s possessive as well as plural. Properly, it should be transcribed like this:

James Rhein is out on three hundred dollars’ bail.

If the bail was only one dollar, you’d say:

James Rhein is out on one dollar’s bail.

The possessives are equivalent to these formulations with of:

James Rhein is out on bail of three hundred dollars.

James Rhein is out on bail of one dollar.

Ben Kovitz

Posted 2015-02-08T23:48:21.833

Reputation: 25 752

Phew, the cookie monster had me puzzled there! – Araucaria - Not here any more. – 2015-02-09T14:17:33.063


The reporter was saying it in a possessive sense, meaning it is "three hundred dollars' bail" as opposed to "three hundred dollars bail." This works in the same way as "five years' time."

Harry Ray

Posted 2015-02-08T23:48:21.833

Reputation: 159