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    #1

    S or no S in the compound noun

    Hi

    I am getting 2 different answers, so I am asking the experts!
    do you put S in the compound noun?

    for example

    sockS drawer
    artifactS exhibition
    ruleS book

    I was told that you never put "S" because the first noun is like a modifier, but boy, I saw soo many people put S after the first noun.

    Please advise!

    curious mind

  1. apex2000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Normally the S would not be used, and your first and third examples would not need an S.
    However, in the middle example if you say an artifact exhibition this could mean that just one artifact is being exhibited (it could be a very large one), whereas a sock drawer obviously contains more than one sock and a rule book contains a list of rules.
    So there is no clear path.

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    #3

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Amazon.com: The Sports Rules Book - 3rd Edition (9780736076326): Human Kinetics: Books

    you see..they put "S" after Rules.

    so, are you saying that either way is okay.

    it is not grammatical wrong if we say "sockS drawer, ruleS book," but it is BETTER to use "sock drawer, girls' club, rule book" right?

    *sigh*

    so strange!

    thanks for your answer

  2. Khosro's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by curiousmind View Post
    Amazon.com: The Sports Rules Book - 3rd Edition (9780736076326): Human Kinetics: Books

    you see..they put "S" after Rules.

    so, are you saying that either way is okay.

    it is not grammatical wrong if we say "sockS drawer, ruleS book," but it is BETTER to use "sock drawer, girls' club, rule book" right?

    *sigh*

    so strange!

    thanks for your answer
    First, are you talking about s or 's? note that s is for making nouns plural.

    Second, "Sports rules". here "sports rules" refers to rules of different sports, and not rules of sport in general. As apex2000 wrote, it is the same for "artifacts exhabition".

    Third, about "girls' club". what is it? is it the name of a specific club? if yes then it could be "girls' club". that would be just a name for it. But if you want to say what kind of club it is then you should say:"It is a girl club".

    Fourth, remember that "rule" is a word which is usually used as "rules".

    To conclude, generally you don't need to use s for the first word. But when there is a difference in the meaning of "sport" and "sports" , "artifact" and "artifacts" then you should decide which one is appropriate.

    I took back this post some hours later.

    --------------------------------------------------
    I learn English and I teach English at the same time.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Khosro; 02-Feb-2011 at 19:49.

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    #5

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by curiousmind View Post
    Amazon.com: The Sports Rules Book - 3rd Edition (9780736076326): Human Kinetics: Books

    you see..they put "S" after Rules.

    so, are you saying that either way is okay.

    it is not grammatical wrong if we say "sockS drawer, ruleS book," but it is BETTER to use "sock drawer, girls' club, rule book" right?

    *sigh*

    so strange!

    thanks for your answer
    Yes, and I accept it seems strange, but that is just one of the many quirks in English. Those of us brought up in the language have an inate feel for what is right or best.
    And you mean 'grammatically wrong'!

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    #6

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Third, about "girls' club". what is it? is it the name of a specific club? if yes then it could be "girls' club". that would be just a name for it. But if you want to say what kind of club it is then you should say:"It is a girl club".
    Not quite right there, Khosro.
    The girl's club - the club to which the girl belonged.
    The girls' club - the club to which the girls belonged.
    The girls club - the club for girls
    *The girl club
    - not normally possible.

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    #7

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Not quite right there, Khosro.
    The girl's club - the club to which the girl belonged.
    The girls' club - the club to which the girls belonged.
    The girls club - the club for girls
    *The girl club - not normally possible.
    Thank you Fivejedjon. I was thinking just about "a" and not "the". That's because when I was reviewing "English grammar in use" by Murfy I just came across combinations which begins by "a" and not "the".

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    #8

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Thank you Fivejedjon. I was thinking just about "a" and not "the". That's because when I was reviewing "English grammar in use" by Murphy I just came across combinations which begins by "a" and not "the".
    I'd still write 'a girls club'.

    I haven't got a copy of EGIU with me. Could you give me Murphy's example(s), please? I may have overlooked something. Thanks.

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    #9

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I'd still write 'a girls club'.

    I haven't got a copy of EGIU with me. Could you give me Murphy's example(s), please? I may have overlooked something. Thanks.
    No, you haven't overlooked But I have. There in the book are examples with "a" and "the" both. But there is no example there like "a girls club", nothing about girls, students, doctors. But now it occurs to me that we also say "the doctors room" and not "the doctor room", whenever we are talking about a public room. So ...

    ... About "a girls club" I guess you are absolutly right.
    So I take back what I've wrote in my previous post. Sounds like I am in the mood for taking back my posts today!

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    #10

    Re: S or no S in the compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    No, you haven't overlooked But I have. There in the book are examples with "a" and "the" both. But there is no example there like "a girls club", nothing about girls, students, doctors. But now it occurs to me that we also say "the doctors room" and not "the doctor room", whenever we are talking about a public room. So ...

    ... About "a girls club" I guess you are absolutly right.
    So I take back what I've wrote in my previous post. Sounds like I am in the mood for taking back my posts today!
    I have taken back a few posts since I started. We learn by it.

    (One thing I have learnt is to write 'in my opinion' or 'I think' unless I am sure of what I am writing. Even then, I try to have a reference to back me up unless it's a really obvious point.)

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