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    #1

    Using the genitive case.

    Hi,


    I am not totally sure how to use the genitive (possessive) case correctly. Are there any general rules to help?
    To make my question more concrete, let me give you a few examples:


    1- Company's pecking order (why not the packing order of the company)?
    2- Public opion (why not public's opinion or the opinion of the public)?
    3- Government funds (why not government's funds)?
    4- School principal (why not school's principal or the principal of the school)?
    5- State law (why not state's law)?
    6- City's orchestra (why not the orchestra of the city)?


    Thanks for your help in advance.

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    #2

    Re: Using the genitive case.

    An initial, cursory answer would be that you could use your given alternative forms.

    Note that your 2-,3-,4- and 5- are compound nouns.

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    #3

    Re: Using the genitive case.

    There are alternative forms in all of the examples you give. You also use city orchestra and company pecking order. Much of this is more a question of collocation- using the more common forms in most contexts - than anything else. Do what others do and you'll be right.

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