girls / girls' bathroom

Tadeo

Senior Member
Español (México)
Hi!!!
Well. this question is about possessive form for the following sentences:

A).... he broke into the girls bathroom.....
B) ...he broke into the girls' bathroom.....

A)....she found the sheep's head..........
B).....she found the sheep head......

These are part of the research for a trial, so I need to translate them the best I can. I did a search on the forum(there is a lot of information by the way);an there are many different opinions and rules about Possessive form, so cosidering most of them; I think the best option I both cases would be A, What do you think???

This is really important for me. Thank you.
 
  • paquijote

    Senior Member
    English/America
    A).... he broke into the girls bathroom.....:tick: This would be the correct use in this case
    B) ...he broke into the girls' bathroom..... Although this would make sense, would it not? but in the context that you are giving, however, it is referrring to a bathroom FOR girls, not a bathroom owned by a specific group of girls.

    A)....she found the sheep's head..........:tick: Correct use as well, I believe.
    B).....she found the sheep head...... I'm not quite sure when you would use this... perhaps you could explain it to me? I am getting more and more aware that educated foreign speakers of my own native language (English) are more familiare with the technicalities of it.

    Hope this helps.
     

    Tadeo

    Senior Member
    Español (México)
    Thank you mhp and paquijote!!! Now I can go to bed :)!!!
    It's 2:30 AM in México!!!

    I read many posts about possessions and the genitive, and believe me mhp, your last comments would clear out many questions there!!!

    Thanks again to both of you!!!
     

    broud

    Senior Member
    Spain - Spanish
    I'm a student with a poor knowledge of English but I have to disagree with the previous replies of course, I'm just giving my opinion and I'll be happy to be corrected).

    The explanation about the "girls not owning the bathroom" is not valid for me as the genitive mark can be used not only to express posession but also as a classifier or other cases. We can read in grammar books that there three main ways to use a noun as a modifier : using the " noun of noun" structure, "noun's noun" and "noun noun".

    For example, in British English it is or can be said "children's clothes" to refer to clothes for children. But they say "baby clothes" to refer to clothes for babies.

    According to this, "girls' bathroom" (following the example of children's clothes) or "girl bathroom" (like in baby clothes) have a chance to be used although "girl bathroom" is completely out of discussion. I can't think now of a real example similar to "girls bathroom" but I assume it is a possibility.

    As the s /s' distinction could be tricky even for native speakers my idea is that we could rephrase it as "women bathroom / women's bathroom". I think women's bathroom is the correct one, I think I heard it sometimes and We can't write womens at all since women is already a plural.

    So, what do you think? Is it women's bathroom or women bathroom? Google seems to agree with my perception but I don't trust it very much.

    I showed with the "children's/baby" example that even for similar meanings it is not necessary to use the same structures so, which pair is the correct one?
    "girls bathroom"/"women's bathroom" ?
    "girls' bathroom/women's bathroom"?
    any other?
     

    broud

    Senior Member
    Spain - Spanish
    I've been checking "Practical English Usage" and there're no examples of noun modified by another noun ( noun + noun) where the noun acting "as an adjective" is in the plural. That shows some logic as adjectives are not inflected for number in English.

    Can anybody check other references( Quirk, Huddleston, Biber ...) and see if they say anything on this matter?

    To my mind, all those examples where the noun-adjective (I don't know how to call it) shows the plural form should take a genitive mark '
     

    fool4jesus

    Senior Member
    Native English speakers get this wrong all the time, as I often did before I really researched it. You should always use 's except after a plural ending in 's', in which case it's the apostrophe alone. The question of possession or association don't enter into it - they are the same.

    Examples:
    The girl's bathroom (singular girl, probably possession)
    The girls' bathroom (plural girls, either possession or association)
    The woman's bathroom (singular woman)
    The women's bathroom (plural women)
    Jesus's wounds
    The Jones' new car (i.e. the car owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jones)

    Now, you'll see this done wrong all the time, most commonly (in my experience) when people think that just because the word ends in s, you use the apostrophe alone - as in the incorrect :cross:"Jesus' wounds".
     

    Pannadol

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Now, you'll see this done wrong all the time, most commonly (in my experience) when people think that just because the word ends in s, you use the apostrophe alone - as in the incorrect :cross:"Jesus' wounds".

    Actually in my English grammar class at University the teacher pointed out that both are actually correct. Both Jesus's and Jesus'. The first is more old-fashioned, whilst the second is more contemporary. So in more traditional grammar books they'll say it's wrong but in English it is actually just a difference in style.

    Also you should point out that with the word "it", if it owns something you write "its" for example.. "The dog chased its tail". That's the only word that is any different to all other nouns as far as I'm aware.
     

    fool4jesus

    Senior Member
    Well, I've seen it used that way lots of times, that's for sure - I expect that it's been used wrong so many times, people are starting to accept the wrong spelling. :-( For example,

    owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_apost.html

    is the rule that I've generally seen.

    As for the posessive "its" (speaking of mistakes people make all the time), it's not really an exception. Don't think of "it's" as being the possessive of a noun, but rather of a pronoun, since that is what "it" is. In that case, "its" is almost exactly the same as "his", and "it's" is equivalent to "he's" or "she's".
     

    Pannadol

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Yeah but for outsiders that can be really confusing because

    He -> He's and His
    She -> She's and Hers
    It -> It's and its.

    It doesn't transform nearly as much - so it's something worth pointing out. Students at my university get this wrong very very often, because the apostraphe is seen to indicate possession, yet with 'it' this isn't the case.
     

    fool4jesus

    Senior Member
    Yo sé - pero me ayudó recordar que "its" no es una excepción, es que tiene que pensar en la manera correcta, cambiar la manera de pensar. (¡No quería que esto foro se hiciera totalmente en inglés!)
     

    expatriotlaguy

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Hi!!!
    Well. this question is about possessive form for the following sentences:

    A).... he broke into the girls bathroom..... :cross:
    B) ...he broke into the girls' bathroom..... :tick:

    A)....she found the sheep's head.......... :tick:
    B).....she found the sheep head...... :tick:

    A noun used as an adjective to modify another noun can never be plural unless the usual form of the noun is plural:

    hats rack
    hat rack
    bottles washer
    bottle washer
    but
    clothes washer (there's no such thing as a clothe)

    You must use sheep's head if you mean the head of a particular sheep. Sheep head is OK if you mean the head of any old sheep:

    The school mascot had been missing all weekend. On Monday morning, the custodian found the sheep's head in a sink in the girls' bathroom.

    The distraught young lady ran screaming from the girls' bathroom, saying there was a sheep head floating in the toilet bowl. (You could also say sheep's head here. When in doubt, use the possessive; it will always be correct.)

    Here's a warning to those learning English: Be advised that a majority of native English speakers do not know how to use the apostrophe correctly. However, I suspect those who are members here are probably above average.
     

    paquijote

    Senior Member
    English/America
    I'm a student with a poor knowledge of English but I have to disagree with the previous replies of course, I'm just giving my opinion and I'll be happy to be corrected).

    The explanation about the "girls not owning the bathroom" is not valid for me as the genitive mark can be used not only to express posession but also as a classifier or other cases. We can read in grammar books that there three main ways to use a noun as a modifier : using the " noun of noun" structure, "noun's noun" and "noun noun".

    For example, in British English it is or can be said "children's clothes" to refer to clothes for children. But they say "baby clothes" to refer to clothes for babies.

    According to this, "girls' bathroom" (following the example of children's clothes) or "girl bathroom" (like in baby clothes) have a chance to be used although "girl bathroom" is completely out of discussion. I can't think now of a real example similar to "girls bathroom" but I assume it is a possibility.

    As the s /s' distinction could be tricky even for native speakers my idea is that we could rephrase it as "women bathroom / women's bathroom". I think women's bathroom is the correct one, I think I heard it sometimes and We can't write womens at all since women is already a plural.

    So, what do you think? Is it women's bathroom or women bathroom? Google seems to agree with my perception but I don't trust it very much.

    I showed with the "children's/baby" example that even for similar meanings it is not necessary to use the same structures so, which pair is the correct one?
    "girls bathroom"/"women's bathroom" ?
    "girls' bathroom/women's bathroom"?
    any other?
    Well said. I stand corrected. I would have thought that "children's clothes" would be said as "childrens clothes" however, with "childrens" being used as a description, but as you so well put it I understand this now a bit more.

    For a person "with a poor knowledge of English", you seem to have a keen concept of it!

    EDIT TO PANNODAL: I have never seen "Jesus' wounds" written as "Jesus's wounds"... I have a pretty confident grasp of the use of the apostrophe in the English language, but I had no idea that this was EVER an acceptable use of it... Do you have any source that you could cite for me? I don't doubt your reasoning, I'm just curious to read into this some more.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    CLICK HERE for one useful reference source on this topic.

    There are others.

    On the topic of adding 's to names ending in s it says:

    ... a name ending in s takes only an apostrophe if the possessive form is not pronounced with an extra s.
    Hence:
    Socrates' philosophy
    Saint Saens' music
    Ulysses' companions
    Aristophanes' plays
     

    Pannadol

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    paquijote:
    That's my point - to me as well Jesus' is correct, but fool4jesus said that Jesus's is correct. That's why they're both right - just diffferent forms of English.
     

    Tadeo

    Senior Member
    Español (México)
    Sorry to tell you this, but now i'm really confused
    There are many opinions about this topic in the forums (wich is really good),so I got a a little something form each one and this is what I got:


    school safety.(noun noun)This refers to the safety in all scholls, not a particular one.

    school's safety(noun's noun) The safety issues in a particular school.

    safety of the school (noun of noun) This one is pretty clear.

    Is this right???

    Same with :
    City hall. Not an specific one.
    City's hall. The hall of an specific city.
    Right ???

    Also I found this in a previous post:

    By suzzzenn: I am totally convinced there really is a pattern there, if not logic. That may be my obsession with the need to find order amongst chaos. But all is not lost. If the plural of the possessing noun is irregular (child/children, man/men, woman/women) then the full possessive form will be used.
    If the plural is regular (baby/babies, dog/dogs, cat/cats and so on) the alternative form (dog food, bird bath, baby milk) will be used.



    So according to this the correct form would be Girl bathroom ¿?
    So is that valid or not???
    And last but not least
    What about ladies toilette ¿?

    All corrections are very welcome.
     

    _Mozart_

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Sorry to tell you this, but now i'm really confused
    There are many opinions about this topic in the forums (wich is really good),so I got a a little something form each one and this is what I got:


    school safety.(noun noun)This refers to the safety in all scholls, not a particular one. :tick:

    school's safety(noun's noun) The safety issues in a particular school.:tick:

    safety of the school (noun of noun) This one is pretty clear.:tick:

    Is this right??? Totally right

    Same with :
    City hall. Not an specific one.
    City's hall. The hall of an specific city.
    Right ???

    Also I found this in a previous post:

    By suzzzenn: I am totally convinced there really is a pattern there, if not logic. That may be my obsession with the need to find order amongst chaos. But all is not lost. If the plural of the possessing noun is irregular (child/children, man/men, woman/women) then the full possessive form will be used.
    If the plural is regular (baby/babies, dog/dogs, cat/cats and so on) the alternative form (dog food, bird bath, baby milk) will be used.


    So according to this the correct form would be Girl bathroom ¿?
    So is that valid or not???
    And last but not least
    What about ladies toilette ¿?

    All corrections are very welcome.
     

    _Mozart_

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Sorry to tell you this, but now i'm really confused
    There are many opinions about this topic in the forums (wich is really good),so I got a a little something form each one and this is what I got:


    school safety.(noun noun)This refers to the safety in all scholls, not a particular one.:tick:

    school's safety(noun's noun) The safety issues in a particular school.:tick:

    safety of the school (noun of noun) This one is pretty clear.:tick:

    Is this right??? Si, es correcto

    Same with :
    City hall. Not an specific one.:tick:
    City's hall. The hall of an specific city.:tick:
    Right ??? Correcto

    Also I found this in a previous post:

    By suzzzenn: I am totally convinced there really is a pattern there, if not logic. That may be my obsession with the need to find order amongst chaos. But all is not lost. If the plural of the possessing noun is irregular (child/children, man/men, woman/women) then the full possessive form will be used. Muy de acuerdo con esto.
    If the plural is regular (baby/babies, dog/dogs, cat/cats and so on) the alternative form (dog food, bird bath, baby milk) will be used. Totalmente de acuerdo con esto


    So according to this the correct form would be Girl bathroom ¿?
    So is that valid or not???
    And last but not least
    What about ladies toilette ¿?
    En este punto, I get cofused, he leido una y otra vez el tòpico de Posesión/ posesivos/genitivos de Geoffrey Leech , pero aun no me queda claro.

    All corrections are very welcome.
     

    _Mozart_

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Chile
    Sorry to tell you this, but now i'm really confused
    There are many opinions about this topic in the forums (wich is really good),so I got a a little something form each one and this is what I got:


    school safety.(noun noun)This refers to the safety in all scholls, not a particular one.:tick:

    school's safety(noun's noun) The safety issues in a particular school.:tick:

    safety of the school (noun of noun) This one is pretty clear.:tick:

    Is this right??? Si, es correcto

    Same with :
    City hall. Not an specific one.:tick:
    City's hall. The hall of an specific city.:tick:
    Right ??? Correcto

    Also I found this in a previous post:

    By suzzzenn: I am totally convinced there really is a pattern there, if not logic. That may be my obsession with the need to find order amongst chaos. But all is not lost. If the plural of the possessing noun is irregular (child/children, man/men, woman/women) then the full possessive form will be used. Muy de acuerdo con esto.
    If the plural is regular (baby/babies, dog/dogs, cat/cats and so on) the alternative form (dog food, bird bath, baby milk) will be used. Totalmente de acuerdo con esto


    So according to this the correct form would be Girl bathroom ¿?
    So is that valid or not???
    And last but not least
    What about ladies toilette ¿?
    En este punto, I get cofused, he leido una y otra vez el tòpico de Posesión/ posesivos/genitivos de Geoffrey Leech , pero aun no me queda claro.

    All corrections are very welcome.
     

    Tadeo

    Senior Member
    Español (México)
    Thank you Mozart, the same thin happens to me, I have a lot of trouble with girls bathroom and ladies bathroom


    By suzzzenn: I am totally convinced there really is a pattern there, if not logic. That may be my obsession with the need to find order amongst chaos. But all is not lost. If the plural of the possessing noun is irregular (child/children, man/men, woman/women) then the full possessive form will be used.
    If the plural is regular (baby/babies, dog/dogs, cat/cats and so on) the alternative form (dog food, bird bath, baby milk) will be used.

    According to this the correct form would be girl bathroom, but it just doesn't make sense.

    So I think that the important thing here is to determinate if, girls acts as an adjective or possessive, what do you think???
     

    Marias-espanol

    Senior Member
    USA-English
    Native English speakers get this wrong all the time, as I often did before I really researched it. You should always use 's except after a plural ending in 's', in which case it's the apostrophe alone. The question of possession or association don't enter into it - they are the same.

    Examples:
    The girl's bathroom (singular girl, probably possession)
    The girls' bathroom (plural girls, either possession or association)
    The woman's bathroom (singular woman)
    The women's bathroom (plural women)
    Jesus's wounds
    The Jones' new car (i.e. the car owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jones)

    Now, you'll see this done wrong all the time, most commonly (in my experience) when people think that just because the word ends in s, you use the apostrophe alone - as in the incorrect :cross:"Jesus' wounds".
    I have to agree. That is how I remember learning it in school.
    Maria
     

    expatriotlaguy

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    school safety.(noun noun)This refers to the safety in all scholls, not a particular one.

    school's safety(noun's noun) The safety issues in a particular school.

    safety of the school (noun of noun) This one is pretty clear. Yes, the same as "school's safety".

    Is this right???

    Same with :
    City hall. Not an specific one.
    City's hall. The hall of an specific city.
    Right ???

    "City Hall" is always a building. "City's hall" refers to some hallway in a city. This would hardly ever be used.

    Also I found this in a previous post:

    By suzzzenn: I am totally convinced there really is a pattern there, if not logic. That may be my obsession with the need to find order amongst chaos. But all is not lost. If the plural of the possessing noun is irregular (child/children, man/men, woman/women) then the full possessive form will be used.
    If the plural is regular (baby/babies, dog/dogs, cat/cats and so on) the alternative form (dog food, bird bath, baby milk) will be used.


    Don't count on these rules. There may be many exceptions. Another possible rule might be that if the first noun refers to an animal or person, it can be the non-possessive form (e.g., dog leg, cat fur, baby talk, etc.) except for all the exceptions, such as:

    So according to this the correct form would be Girl bathroom ¿?
    So is that valid or not???

    Not. But mainly because "Girl Bathroom" suggests the bathroom itself is young and female, which doesn't make any sense.

    And last but not least
    What about ladies toilette ¿? :cross: Ladies' toilet.

    All corrections are very welcome.
     

    fool4jesus

    Senior Member
    I don't think that it's quite as clearly delimited as all this. I really don't think there is any difference between, for example, "City Hall" and "City's Hall." Very often the ayuntamiento of some particular city or town will just be called "Town Hall."

    Where are you going?
    I have to go down to Town Hall today.

    What's that building?
    It's the Leesburg Town Hall.

    Primarily it's just a difference in sentence structure: possessive+noun or two nouns in "apposition", i.e. right after each other. English, I'm sure you know, uses appositive nouns all the time: city hall, picture frame, door way (now just one word, "doorway"), seeing-eye dog.

    If anything, the difference seems to me to be that the possessive form assumes that you are primarily talking in your discussion about the noun in the possessive, and the latter noun is mentioned almost parenthetically. When you say "school's safety" I get the impression that we are talking about the school in general; and right now the safety of the school is coming up, as opposed to its efficiency, comfort, etc. On the other hand, "school safety" could mean the opposite - that safety is the primary topic of conversation, and we now want to talk about a particular kind of safety, the school's. In that sense, your thought ("The safety issues in a particular school") is not incorrect, but I don't think it's quite as clear-cut as that.

    Because of how common apposition is, we can see that "girl bathroom" could be understood (if it is understood at all) as "a bathroom which is a girl" or "a bathroom which is arranged in a way that girls would like" - e.g., flowers, pastel colors, etc. Although obviously a native speaker would understand if you asked "where is the girl bathroom", they would recognize it as incorrect, that you really wanted the "girls' bathroom." If asked to spell "girls'" in this sentence, I think those same people would be split among three spellings:

    girls' bathroom (correct)
    girls's bathroom (incorrect but apparently becoming more accepted)
    girls bathroom (incorrect but common in a medium such as the internet where niceties like punctuation are considered optional)

    No matter how you slice it, "girl bathroom" is not correct. "Ladies' toilet" follows the same rule.
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No matter how you slice it, "girl bathroom" is not correct. "Ladies' toilet" follows the same rule.
    I agree.

    Girls's to me looks utterly hideous.

    As for town hall, city hall, call it how you will here it generally has no article if you have the town as part of it. I am just about to go out to a meeting at the town hall. If people ask me which I will say Stratford Town Hall or if I am in East Ham, East Ham Town Hall.
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    English, I'm sure you know, uses appositive nouns all the time: city hall, picture frame, door way (now just one word, "doorway"), seeing-eye dog.
    Since this is Spanish-English forum, it may be appropriate to point out the use of apposition in Spanish: While La Calle Segovia is understood in apposition, It is not uncommon (perhaps more frequent) to see La Calle de Segovia. Segovia's Street :eek:
    aposición.(Del lat. appositĭo, -ōnis).
    2. f. Gram. Construcción de dos elementos nominales unidos, el segundo de los cuales especifica al primero; p. ej., mi amigo el tendero; el rey Felipe II. Por ext., se aplica a construcciones del tipo La calle de Goya o el tonto de Rigoberto.
    (DRAE)
     

    Tadeo

    Senior Member
    Español (México)
    Well, I see there is a lot of material about this topic, and also I realize that there are a lot of different opinions, so what someones consider right is wrong for the others. (maybe the cultural differences have lot to do with this).

    I just wanted to thank you all for your help.:) (disregarding if it might be considered wrong or right by the others, I appreciate your point of view.)

    Well, my last question:
    Being an outsider speaker (so English is my 2nd language); I was thought to follow the animate -inanimate rule, and to follow the same rules for the apostrophe than the ones in panjandrum's link; so do you think that I should abide by these rules (in formal speech)and accept the rest as a matter of common usage (so I would only use them in informal speech)???

    Thank you again. Any correctios are welcome.
     

    fool4jesus

    Senior Member
    I would probably pronounce the expressions as I would spell them: Jesus's (Je-sus-ez wounds) wounds, Socrates's (Soc-ra-tes-ez) philosophy, etc. It's hard to tell at this point, of course - after you think about a thing and pronounce it a hundred times in your head I'm not a real good judge of how I'd pronounce it if it just came up offhand. But I think I'd pronounce it with the extra 'z' sound at the end.

    However, I don't think it's a very important matter, especially in speech. It doesn't sound strange to me either way.
     

    Tadeo

    Senior Member
    Español (México)
    I keep reading about the subject and I found something:

    gun case: a special container to keep a gun .

    If I write gun's case, I would be talking about the case of a specific gun.
    right???

    So,why is it incorrect to say girls bathroom? I think both gun and girls work as an adjective here, don't they???
     

    fool4jesus

    Senior Member
    Bueno, a "gun case" es un tipo de caja especificamente por el propósito de guardar una arma de fuego, normalmente un rifle o escopeta. La diferencia entre las palabras me parece en la manera de uso:

    I just bought a new gun case. (enfásis en la caja, que guarda el rifle)
    Where´s the gun´s case? (como estoy teniendo el rifle y estoy buscando la caja)

    Otro pensamiento: uno puede decir "a gun case", pero "a gun´s case" suena extraño.

    Sobre tu última pregunta: no sé exactamente, pero alguien mencionó una regla de seres humanos - una palabra que refiere a una persona no puede estar en aposición con otro sustantivo. Puedo decir "a dog house" o "the dog house", pero tengo que decir "the man's house." Bueno, la verdad es que si digo "a man house" parece como el hombre sea un animal. A veces la gente usa esta forma como una broma: hay un show en la televisión llamado "The Man Show" - i.e., el show para los hombres. Pero no es inglés verdadero.

    No sé si he ayudado o no ...
     

    expatriotlaguy

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    So,why is it incorrect to say girls bathroom? I think both gun and girls work as an adjective here, don't they???
    Because for one thing, girls is a plural. Plural nouns are never used as adjectives (unless it's their normal form). Beyond that, girl bathroom is rarely used because it suggests at least as strongly as the meaning you intended that the bathroom is itself a girl, rather than being simply the bathroom the girls use.
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I disagree. You see goats and cows milk written all the time. Goats and cows are both used as an adjective here and both are plural. For me putting in the apostrophe after the s in girls would make most sense if you are talking specific girls rather than just girls in general.
     

    expatriotlaguy

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    I disagree. You see goats and cows milk written all the time. Goats and cows are both used as an adjective here and both are plural. For me putting in the apostrophe after the s in girls would make most sense if you are talking specific girls rather than just girls in general.
    The reason you see them written all the time is because, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, a majority of native English speakers don't know the correct use of the apostrophe. Goats milk is WRONG. It is goat's milk or cow's milk. If you think the apostrophe doesn't belong there, I'd suggest checking some good grammar references, though I am told by some friends who live in the UK that the state of instruction in English grammar there is even worse than it is in the US, so you may really have to look hard.
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    After my initial reply to the original query, I realized that this is a bigger can of worms than I’d imagined; so I just removed my reply after a few minutes. :)

    One of the many examples that I had deleted from my reply was dollhouse, doll’s house or dolls’ house. In the Merriam Webster dictionary all three are accepted, but there is no mention of dolls house.

    The simple fact is that we never say
    Men room (for men’s room)
    Men shower for (men’s shower)
    Men locker (for men’s locker)

    Why we don’t say it, is beyond me.
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The reason you see them written all the time is because, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, a majority of native English speakers don't know the correct use of the apostrophe. Goats milk is WRONG. It is goat's milk or cow's milk. If you think the apostrophe doesn't belong there, I'd suggest checking some good grammar references, though I am told by some friends who live in the UK that the state of instruction in English grammar there is even worse than it is in the US, so you may really have to look hard.
    No need to get your knickers in a twist.;)

    I am talking about day to day usage as seen on printed packages available in supermarkets today, not in grammar books. I think also the reason this ground is less than hard and fast is that, whether you like it or not, the apostrophe is on the way out.

    Just look at this search from a variety of places which sell goats milk. If I was selling something I think I'd be confident about spelling it, wouldn't you.
     

    Bright Futures Ed Consult

    New Member
    US English
    First, possessive doesn't need to refer to legal ownership. "Dedicated to the use of the girls" is good enough. So, I would suggest the plural possessive is the correct form in this case:

    girls' locker room

    We also need to register the existence of compound nouns in English. "Gun case" is an example of one. "Gun" isn't a modifier for the word "case" when you're describing an object; "gun case" is a compound noun, just like the phrase "glasses case" and "storage case." If you were talking about a criminal case involving a gun, then in the phrase "gun case" the word "gun" would be a modifier of the word "case." Confusing, yes, but they are two different things. A case in the second sense isn't a physical object. "Locker room" is a compound noun similar to the first example of "gun case," so "girls'" is its modifier. A "locker" is a box you store your clothes and other items in, and a "room" dedicated to them is where they are kept. So "locker room" is a compound noun and "girls'" is its modifier.

    Jim

    Hi!!!
    Well. this question is about possessive form for the following sentences:

    A).... he broke into the girls bathroom.....
    B) ...he broke into the girls' bathroom.....

    A)....she found the sheep's head..........
    B).....she found the sheep head......

    These are part of the research for a trial, so I need to translate them the best I can. I did a search on the forum(there is a lot of information by the way);an there are many different opinions and rules about Possessive form, so cosidering most of them; I think the best option I both cases would be A, What do you think???

    This is really important for me. Thank you.
     
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