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    #1

    asking about the number of sth.

    Which sentences are correct:

    What is the number of my flight? (I'm 100% sure it's correct)


    What is my flight number?
    What is my flight's number?

    (I have doubts as to these two)

    Thanks for replies

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: asking about the number of sth.

    Quote Originally Posted by marker View Post
    What is my flight number?
    That's the one I find most natural. The third is unnatural.

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    #3

    Re: asking about the number of sth.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That's the one I find most natural. The third is unnatural.
    Is it unnatural and incorrect because we put 's when we want to say that sth. belongs to sb. or an animal (i.e. animate nouns) and not to a thing (i.e. inanimate nouns)?
    We can say:

    boy's book
    dog's tail

    but

    flight number (not flight's number)

    Am I right?

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    #4

    Re: asking about the number of sth.

    Anyone?

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: asking about the number of sth.

    No, the flight number is a fixed phrase, which is really a Germanic compound (we perhaps should spell it flightnumber, but we don't). So, flight's number is a haphazard construction that doesn't match what we more frequently say, so it sounds a little unusual.

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    #6

    Re: asking about the number of sth.

    Quote Originally Posted by marker View Post
    Is it unnatural and incorrect because we put 's when we want to say that sth. belongs to sb. or an animal (i.e. animate nouns) and not to a thing (i.e. inanimate nouns)?
    We can say:

    boy's book
    dog's tail

    but

    flight number (not flight's number)

    Am I right? Yes and no. It depends on context and common usage. "Flight number" in your example is more common in that context than "flight's number". But for example, I could say, "I was supposed to depart on flight number 123 but the flight's number was changed to 124". Also, I could say "Fingerprints were discovered on the door's handle" (or "door handle"). But yes, for animate nouns apostrophe s ('s) is most common. I say most common because I can't, at the moment, think of exceptions.
    b.

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