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I encountered this sentence today: 「付き合って5年目に結婚することにしました。」

What does 「年目」 mean here, and why is 「目」 attached to 「年」?

Would the sentence still have the same meaning if we use only 「年」 instead of 「年目」?

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What does 「年目」 mean here, and why is 「目」 attached to 「年」?

目 indicates the number is ordinal instead of cardinal. That is, 五年目=5th year. 五年=5 years.

Would the sentence still have the same meaning if we use only 「年」 instead of 「年目」?

No. It would be possible to say 付き合って五年結婚することにしました though I feel it is slightly less natural.

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