'company name' or 'company's name'?


Senior Member
Could you help me with one grammar problem in the following text?

Their business is in Berlin, and they’re taxi drivers. Their company name is Rad and their special taxi-bus is good for families and big groups.

This text is from a Speakout textbook. Students are supposed to make questions for this text and one suggested question in the Teacher’s Book is What’s their company called? The author also says to encourage students to use this form instead of What’s their company’s name? However, in the text itself it says their company name instead of their company’s name. Does it make no difference whether you use ‘s or not? And if not, then would it be OK to ask What’s their company name?
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It makes no difference in this instance. The grammatical difference is one of grouping: their company's name means the name of their company, whereas their company name means the company name that they have (that is theirs). But these amount to the same thing. Company name is a kind of compound, like taxi driver or taxi bus.

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The meanings are identical. In everyday speech we'd probably ask for the company's name or the name of the company. However, in legal documents this would probably be called the company name - the one which is officially registered.

    [Cross-posted, and almost identical responses. That must indicate something!]


    Senior Member
    What about a question? Which of these would sound most natural in everyday English?
    1.What’s their company name?
    2.What’s their company’s name?
    3.What’s the name of their company?
    4.What’s their company called?


    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Assuming the context is the Berlin taxi drivers' company, version (4) sounds the most idiomatic to me - although I'd probably say it as "What's their taxi company called?"
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