Years old vs Year-old

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What’s the difference between them?

Years old

Meaning:

Non-hyphenated 'years old' is a phrase that refers to someone who is of certain age.

Examples:

1. She just turned nine years old.

2. The house is over one hundred years old.

3. He's been retired for thirty years old.

Year-old

Meaning:

Hyphenetad 'year-old' is an adjective that describes an age of a certain person or thing.

Examples:

1. My daughter is a sweet 6-year-old who loves to play with dolls.

2. We just bought a new 10-year-old car that runs smoothly.

3. I can't believe my baby brother is already a 2-year-old.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Years old

There are no direct synonyms for this word.

There are no direct antonyms for this word.

Year-old

There are no direct synonyms for this word.

There are no direct antonyms for this word.

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "years old", "year-old".

1. Hyphenate 'year old' when it modifies a noun that follows it.

2. Don't hyphenate 'year old' when it comes after noun it modifies.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When to use the first word?

The phrase ‘years old’ is used when expressing the age of a person, animal, or object. It is used to show how many complete years have passed since the birthdate or creation of the item in question. For example, ‘He is 5 years old.’

When to use the second word?

The phrase ‘year-old’ is also used to denote the age of a person, animal, or object. It is used to describe the approximate age of an individual or item, rather than the exact age. For example, ‘She is a two-year-old girl.’

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

Yes, these words have the same pronunciation.

What are common mistakes associated with words?

A common mistake associated with the words ‘years old’ and ‘year-old’ is confusing the two. It is important to remember that ‘years old’ should be used to express the exact age of a person, animal, or object, and ‘year-old’ should be used to describe the approximate age of an individual or item.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. She is twenty __________.

2. Hes a 20 __________ teacher.

3. The 10 __________ boy couldnt reach the cookie jar.

4. They are both five __________.

5. Shes a 17__________ student.

6. The 6 __________ children were playing in the park.

1. Answer: years old.

Explanation: The correct phrase is years old and not year-old when referring to age. When describing the age of someone, the noun form of the number is used, followed by the phrase years old.

2. Answer: -year-old.

Explanation: In this sentence, the correct phrase is year-old. This phrase is used to describe the age of something or someone. In this sentence, the phrase year-old is used to describe the age of the teacher.

3. Answer: -year-old.

Explanation: Similarly to sentence number two, the phrase year-old is used to describe the age of the boy. This phrase is used to identify how old he is.

4. Answer: years old.

Explanation: Similarly to sentence number one, the phrase years old is used to refer to the age of both individuals. The noun form of the number five is used, followed by the phrase years old.

5. Answer: -year-old.

Explanation: The phrase year-old is used to describe the age of the student. This phrase is used to identify how old she is.

6. Answer: -years-old.

Explanation: The phrase year-old is used to describe the age of the children. This phrase is used to identify how old they are.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.