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Can you tell me which one is modified and which one that modifies

A good knowledge of three languages is needed for the job

Someone gave this example when she told me that when I have a singular noun that's modified by a plural, the verb that comes after it is singular, but I still don't understand. I also need to know whether that sentence can be written as:

A good three languages knowledge is needed for the job.

Like when we treat plural as singular:

Thirty miles is a long way to run [Oxford Grammar].

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A good knowledge of three languages is needed for the job.

The above example is fine. The verb is agrees with the subject knowledge.

A good three languages knowledge is needed for the job.

In the second example, shown above, the attributive noun should more appropriately be singular and hyphenated, like three-language.

A good three-language knowledge is needed for the job.

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  • I disagree with this answer. "A three-language knowledge" sounds very strange and non-fluent to this US English speaker. I know that attributive nouns in English are a tricky topic, but a knowledge of three languages is not "a kind of knowledge called three-language" or "about three-language" or "belonging to three-language", so the attributive noun rephrasing sounds very weird.
    – stangdon
    Dec 18 '21 at 15:36

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