United States', USA's

Hello everyone,

I already know the apostrophe ('s, ') rule, but it seems to me that the specific name of the country The United States and its abbreviation (USA) are exceptions that I found nothing about on the previous threads that I searched here. My question: Does the *use of the apostrophe ('s, ') sound correct in the specific examples that I made up below?

a. Is Brazil’s time zone ahead of the USA's time zone?
b. Is Brazil’s time zone ahead of the United States' time zone?

*It seems that in spite of the grammar rule that says both forms are possible, in pratice the apostrophe ('s, ') is dropped almost always with ''The United States'' / ''USA.''

Thank you in advance!
 
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  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    These don't seem to be exceptions, but the standard uses of the genitive. The term United States is a singular referent, so gets singular agreement (The United States is/has . . . its . . .), but is plural in form, so its genitive is that of a plural: the United States', with s-apostrophe. But the term USA is not plural in form, so takes the basic singular marking, USA's. So both of your sentences are correct and expected.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both of those are correct. But we very often use nouns – including proper nouns such as place names – attributively (like adjectives), rather than as possessives. For example in titles such as the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration or the United States Military Academy.

    Note, too, that time zones vary across the United States!
     
    Thank you all very much.

    we very often use nouns – including proper nouns such as place names – attributively (like adjectives), rather than as possessives. For example in titles such as the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration or the United States Military Academy.
    Yes, most texts and dialogues that I've seen use ''USA'' or ''U.S'' attributively (without the 's).
     
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