In this newspaper article, just under the "China is reluctant to get too involved" heading, the possessive form has been used thus:

Just a few minutes’ walk away from the Legislative Council building, the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military, has an outpost with thousands of combat-ready soldiers ready to do Beijing’s bidding.

How can minutes even possess a walk? shouldn't it be "Just a few minutes walk away..." where few minutes only qualify the walk instead of possessing it?


1 Answer 1


The possessive apostrophe is correct in this case; "A few minutes' walk." See here, for example: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/writing/apostrophe or here: http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-ten-minute-walk-ten-minutes-walk.html

Although it sounds odd to think of the walk as belonging to the minutes, it's a way of saying "of" - "A walk of a few minutes."

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