Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
Is there anything wrong with the following phrase? "It cost less to reuse boxes than to buy new ones."
Rules of the Games
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Jillian asks...
When do you use square foot or square feet in a sentence related to the square footage of your house and or living room? e.g. The house is a 4,800 square foot home. The living room is 1,200 square feet?
Anne answers...
Look at the two sentences. In the first, you have the word 'a' (which is singular) in front of 4800 square foot (foot is also singular); and all these words modify the word 'home' (which is also singular). In the second sentence, there is no 'a' and you are talking about how many feet there are in the living room. Consequently, the plural form is used. It's the same with "He is six feet tall" vs. "He is a six foot tall basketball player."
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