She's about five foot three?

I saw a sentence in a dictionary as below:

I’d say she’s about five foot three (=five feet and three inches).

And I don’t understand it used five FOOT three instead of five feet three in the sentence.

Thank you!!!

That’s just how heights and other measurements are reported in English. It’s better just to get used to it:

“She’s a 50 year old woman”
“That’s a 2 mile walk”
“That’s a 10 pound turkey”

But, we also say in English:

“She is 50 years old”
“You need to walk 2 miles”
“The turkey weighs 10 pounds”

Hope this helps.


This is somewhat idiomatic, and probably related to use of the singular form when used as an adjective.

The road is five miles long. It is a five mile road.
The snake is five feet long. It is a five foot snake. It is a five foot long snake.
The building is five stories tall. It is a five story building.

(Should there be hyphens in there? five-mile road, five-foot snake, five-story building?)

“The road is long. How long? Five miles.” Here “long” is an adjective modifying the noun “road”, and “five miles” is an adverbial phrase. A word or phrase that modifies an adjective is an adverb. The plural form is used in an adverbial phrase like this.

“It is a five mile road.” (five-mile road?) Here “five mile” describes the noun, so it is an adjective.

Your example is a truncated form. The specifics might change if it was expanded:

“She’s about five feet three inches tall” is probably more proper.
“She’s about five foot three inches tall” sounds fine, may be idiomatic.
“She’s about five foot three inch tall” Nope, doesn’t work.
“She is a five foot three inch tall woman.” Plural “inches” would not work here.

If I was submitting this in formal writing, I’d have to check a style guide for whether there should be hyphens in there somewhere. Some other maven may correct me here.

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I found this link. That might help…

Ask a Teacher: Foot or Feet?

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Thanks a lot!

Excellent explanations, guys!

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(Should there be hyphens in there? five-mile road, five-foot snake, five-story building?)

Yes :slight_smile:

Compound adjectives are not countable. A fourteen-foot boat or a 26 mile marathon could be hyphenated or not depending on style.

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