I moved to an apartment where we have a concierge at the front desk of the building and I wanted to ask him about his business hours, i.e. when he would show up at the front desk. Is the following way of asking this question correct?

"What are your business hours?"

Or it should be

"What is your business hour?"

2 Answers 2


Your first choice, unlike your second, is grammatically correct, because the plural form is required when referring to a time span. But "business hours" is the entirely wrong phrasing. You would inquire of him, "What are your normal duty hours?" or "During what times, precisely, will I find you on duty?"

  • When a time span is referenced via an idiom or a fixed phrase, it may be singular in form: Examples: Happy hour, the work day, the afternoon, nine to five, the graveyard shift, teh second watch, (but the dog watches), the 20th century (but the 1960s), the shank of the morning, etc. The form depends on the particular phrase. May 29, 2022 at 21:47

The fixed phrase "business hours", meaning the time when a business is open, is always given in the plural, "business hour" is never used in this way.

However, a concierge is not a separate business, and it would be rather unusual to use the phrase "business hours" to refer to its hours of operation. Also, there might be more than one shit on duty at the concierge desk. Common ways for asking this question would be:

  • When is the concierge desk open?
  • When is the concierge service available?
  • What are the hours of operation of the concierge desk?
  • When are you on duty as concierge?
  • What are the concierge hours?

Note that the fourth of these asks about the specific person, the others ask about the service, however many people may help provide it.

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