He has almost finished. He only needs ________ ten minutes.

I think "other" for the blank. But the answer key says: It will be "another". And I think another should be used before a singular noun.

What is the right answer?

  • 1
    "Other" is a tough one. "Another" is right here because of "ten". If I have time later and someone doesn't beat me to it I'll try and figure out why in an answer. – Luke Sawczak Jul 8 '17 at 18:18
  • 1
    If you aren't set on using a form of "other", I'd say a more typical formulation is "he only needs ten more minutes". – Chris Johnson Jul 8 '17 at 23:15

In your sentence, another is the correct determiner.

It marks not the plural noun minutes but the noun phrase "ten minutes" which, in the context of the sentence, is treated as a single entity.

He has almost finished. He only needs another ten minutes.

It may be convenient to think of the usage as an ellipsis of period of:

He has almost finished. He only needs another [period of] ten minutes.

An insightful answer to a similar question is provided here by StoneyB at our sister site ELU.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1. Note that this isn't specific to another; we also say e.g. a good ten minutes. In general, there aren't many cases where we put the adjective before the numeral, but in (almost?) all of those cases, we need a determiner such as a. – ruakh Jul 8 '17 at 23:24
  • @ruakh Good point. I'll expand a little when time permits. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 8 '17 at 23:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.