Ask a Teacher: Foot or Feet?

The English parole “ metrical foot ” has more than one meaning. In the United States, one meaning is a unit of measurement of measurement equal to 12 inches, or .3 meters. We use feet to measure height, duration and short distances. today ’ s question is about when to use the plural or singular form. It comes from Wéifēng of China .


I am often confused with the option between “ foot ” and “ feet. ” How do I choose the right word in a particular position ? – Wéifēng, ​ China


Hello, Wéifēng, that is a great question !

For the whole of measurement, we frequently use the curious form even when we are talking about more than one foot. This can make things confusing for learners .
fortunately, there are three easy rules that can help :

  1. When used as an adjective, we use “foot,” which is the singular form. Let’s hear some examples:

The children climbed a 15-foot tree .
hera, the adjective is “ 15-foot ” and it describes the noun “ tree. ” hera ’ s another :
I have a 10-foot ladder that you can borrow .
here, the adjective “ 10-foot ” describes the noun “ ladder. ”
notice that both 15-foot and 10-foot come before the noun and there is a hyphen between the words. A hyphen is needed when a unit of measurement acts as an adjective .

  1. When used as a noun, we use the plural form: feet. Take a listen:

The tree is 15 feet high .
here, the noun is “ 15 feet ” and the adjective is “ high. ”
The ladder is 10 feet improbable .
here, the noun is “ 10 feet ” and the adjectival is “ tall. ” Notice that the noun shape does not use a hyphenate .
These two rules besides apply to many other units of measurement .

  1. Lastly, we usually use the singular form when talking about a person’s height. This is an exception to the plural noun rule in #2. Here’s an example:

I am 5-foot-6.

This is a common way of saying, “ I am 5 feet 6 inches improbable. ”
however, when the person ’ s stature is an demand number of feet — without inches — we use the plural form .
I am 5 feet .
He is 6 feet grandiloquent .
The addition of “ tall ” is not required in everyday conversation .
Other Meanings
For all other meanings of “ metrical foot, ” we use “ foot ” for the singular class and “ feet ” for the plural .
And that ’ s Ask a Teacher .
I ’ molarity Alice Bryant .
Do you have a question for Ask a Teacher ? Write to us in the Comments area and be sure to list your country .

Words in This Story

plural – adj. relating to a mannequin of a word that refers to more than one person or thing
ladder – n. a device used for climbing that has two long pieces of wood, metal or rope with a serial of steps between them
hyphen – n. a punctuation check that is used to connect words or parts of words

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