EN: science's history, science's past


New Member
French - France
Je crois avoir compris que le génitif en 's marquait l'appartenance, rendant donc une locution comme "science's history" (l'histoire de la science) fausse. Il faudrait lui préférer "the history of science" ou "science history" ?

Qu'en est-il des locutions où le choix est plus difficile : par exempe "science's past", peut on considérer qu'on parle du passé de la science, ou bien la règle qui veut éviter les personnifications en anglais rend cette expression fausse ?
Merci d'avance
  • Welcome to the forums.
    I don't see why you cannot use the possessive 's with an inanimate object.
    To me, whether it would look odd or not would depend more on the context and the nature of the inanimate object.
    A Google search gives many examples of your "science's history" in use:
    google.as - q=science's+history
    See also these previous threads, which include some contrary opinions:
    wordreference.com - possessive-using-s-with-inanimate-nouns.165875
    wordreference.com - possessive-using-s-with-inanimate-nouns.235314
    Thanks for your answer !
    Okay, judging from what you sent me, the subject seems more complicated than I originally thought, especially since native speakers seem to disagree on the rule to follow...
    I started the topic because "science's history" got considered wrong on an english test... I'll ask my teacher :--)
    Thanks a lot,
    "science's history" got considered wrong on an english test
    On peut en discuter le style et la fréquence d'emploi, mais on ne peut certainement pas considérer cette expression comme une faute, ce d'autant plus qu'elle est entérinée par des éditeurs réputés.

    Women must not be obscured in science's history (Nature)
    those of us interested in science's history (The University of Chicago Press)