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General Writing and Grammar Help/I know that you can say "finest hour", but can you also say "finest period of time"?

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Question
Dear Ted,
I know that you can say "finest hour", but can you also say "finest period of time"? In other words, I know that sentence number one below is grammatically correct. Is sentence number two also grammatically correct?
1. China's finest hour was during the Ming dynasty.
2. China's finest period of time was during the Ming dynasty.

Answer
Dear Glen:

I know that you can say "finest hour", but can you also say "finest period of
time"? In other words, I know that sentence number one below is grammatically
correct. Is sentence number two also grammatically correct?
1. China's finest hour was during the Ming dynasty.
2. China's finest period of time was during the Ming dynasty.

**** "Finest hour" is a well-established phrase that refers to the achievements or the greatness of a person or of people.  It certainly applies to your statement about the Ming dynasty.
Although "finest period" is not used often, it, also, has the same meaning.  Instead of using "period," another word meaning the same thing is often used:  the golden age, the Industrial Revolution, the age of reason, the decade of diplomacy, and the Era of Good Feelings.

Your use of "finest period of time," although not a well-known expression, is correct.  I think "finest period of time" is more appropriate for the Ming dynasty than "finest hour."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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