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So, I have recently written a school assignment in English and I was wondering what's the correct way to say:

  1. In the beginning of the 19th century, one-third of the millworkers aged from seven to twelve.
  2. In the beginning of the 19th century, one-third of the millworkers were between the age of seven and twelve.
  3. In the beginning of the 19th century, one-third of the millworkers were between seven and twelve.

My teacher doesn't approve of the first example that I have listed.

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    Likely because in your first example, aged has to be the verb, so you're saying that one-third of the millworkers became older by five years. – deadrat Dec 11 '16 at 21:14
  • 1) is not a sentence. That might be the problem. Did you ask your teacher why 1) was NG? – user3169 Dec 11 '16 at 21:32
  • @deadrat I think a construct like "a millworker aged twelve" is still correct, if somewhat obsolete. – Maciej Stachowski Dec 11 '16 at 22:25
  • @MaciejStachowski I agree, and see 3169's take: if we read according to the construct you mention, we don't have a complete sentence. – deadrat Dec 12 '16 at 0:17
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The second two sentences are good. The first is close, but aged can have ambiguous use unless you give more information. Any way I try to interpret the sentence as written, it doesn't work.

Let's say I interpret aged as the verb "to grow older". Then the meaning of the first sentence is

One-third of the millworkers got five years older, specifically from seven to twelve.

On the other hand, if I interpret it as the adjective phrase (as you mention in your comment) the sentence is incomplete because it lacks a verb.

One-third of the millworkers, aged seven to twelve, ... (did something?)

The construct you seem to be trying to create is this:

... one-third of the millworkers were aged seven to twelve.

This would be fine, although it's more natural to say something like:

... one-third of the millworkers were from seven to twelve years old.

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