a bank database or a bank's database

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Junethebigoted

Member
Chinese
Recently a confusion occurs to me when I use genitive. I understand that only animate nouns can present possession of another in the form: 's, while inanimate nouns, name this inanimate noun as A, should present possession of B in the form: B of A.

However, often I think the later expression breaks the rhythm that I want to convey in my writing. An example is like this:
If all sellers have a free access to a bank's database/ a bank database/ a database of a bank, their customer targeting will be completed times more accurate and faster.

In my understanding, bank is an inanimate noun, and thus it should take the B of A form. I don't want to employ this form, so my question is can I employ the first 2 forms in the example or one of them instead?
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I understand that only animate nouns can present possession of another in the form: 's, while inanimate nouns, name this inanimate noun as A, should present possession of B in the form: B of A.
    This an old "rule" that was often taught to students decades ago - you should not think it is a rule at all.

    Your example sentence has errors
    If all sellers have a free access [access is uncountable] to a bank's database/ a bank database/ a database of a bank, their customer targeting will be completed times more accurate and faster.

    Now to the main point:
    If all sellers have free access to a bank's database, = the only database that any or one bank has
    If all sellers have free access to a bank database = one database of the type held by any bank.
    If all sellers have free access to a database of a bank = one database in any or one bank

    If all sellers have free access to banks' databases = all the databases of all banks.
    If all sellers have free access to bank databases = all the databases of the type held by any bank.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Recently a confusion occurs to me when I use genitive. I understand that only animate nouns can present possession of another in the form: 's, while inanimate nouns, name this inanimate noun as A, should present possession of B in the form: B of A.
    No; this is not correct. While this incorrect information is frequently inflicted on innocent and unsuspecting students, it is false. You may certainly use the "Saxon genitive" of apostrophe + s with nouns that refer to inanimate things. Anyone who does not know this should not be teaching English to learners.
     

    Junethebigoted

    Member
    Chinese
    This an old "rule" that was often taught to students decades ago - you should not think it is a rule at all.

    Your example sentence has errors
    If all sellers have a free access [access is uncountable] to a bank's database/ a bank database/ a database of a bank, their customer targeting will be completed times more accurate and faster.

    Now to the main point:
    If all sellers have free access to a bank's database, = the only database that any or one bank has
    If all sellers have free access to a bank database = one database of the type held by any bank.
    If all sellers have free access to a database of a bank = one database in any or one bank

    If all sellers have free access to banks' databases = all the databases of all banks.
    If all sellers have free access to bank databases = all the databases of the type held by any bank.
    Your answer is really helpful to me. Thank you and this powerful and amazing forum.
     

    Junethebigoted

    Member
    Chinese
    No; this is not correct. While this incorrect information is frequently inflicted on innocent and unsuspecting students, it is false. You may certainly use the "Saxon genitive" of apostrophe + s with nouns that refer to inanimate things. Anyone who does not know this should not be teaching English to learners.
    Thank you sir. You and PaulQ solved a problem that confused me a long time.
     
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