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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > ...an unbelievable thirteen kilograms    

...an unbelievable thirteen kilograms


...an unbelievable thirteen kilograms
Hi, I got stumped trying to explain why there is an article in this sentence.

-She lost an unbelievable thirteen kilograms.

Everyone was insisting there can �t be an article with a plural. I know it �s correct but I don �t know why:S

a kilogram
thirteen kilograms
thirteen unbelievable kilograms
an unbelievable kilogram
AN unbelievable thirteen kilogramS

Thanks guys:)

24 Mar 2010      

Mariethe House

I guess it is correct and it sounds like the " shortcut" to :

 I lost
( I wish I had!)an unbelievable (WEIGHT/ Amount ) of 13 kgs!  

24 Mar 2010     


Thanks Mariethe, I hadn �t really considered ellipsis, I think that sounds like a reasonable explanation:)

24 Mar 2010     

United Kingdom

Yes, I reckon Mariethe�s got it: the 13 kilograms is a weight.

24 Mar 2010     


I think the answer is in the fact that you have an article + adj followed by a noun, so an "unbelievable" -13 -Kilos,   -I �m curious about the answer myself. :)

24 Mar 2010     


Look at grammar guru Swan �s PEU 532.6

It �s a plural expression of quantity used with an adjective.  Other examples include:
She spent a happy ten minutes looking through the photos
He �s been waiting a good two hours

24 Mar 2010     

United States

Jayho didn �t say it this way, but that �s right. The a/an refers to the thirteen, because it �s the thirteen that is unbelievable.

25 Mar 2010