Apostrophe and adjectives

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Apostrophe and adjectives

Post by chrishhh » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:10 am

In my letter I want to offer, return travel and two nights accommodation

It seems to me that:
"accommodation" is the noun - the thing that is being offered
"nights" is the adjective describing the noun.

So there is no possession relationship and an apostrophe is not necessary. Therefore it is nights and not nights'

Similarly I coul offer one night accommodation not one night's accommodation

Do you agree?


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Re: Apostrophe and adjectives

Post by Alan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:34 am

There is no possession in the legal sense, but there is grammatical possession, and the apostrophe is therefore necessary! Thus:

one day's/night's/week's (etc.) accommodation

two days'/nights'/weeks' (etc.) accommodation.

You may possibly be getting these determinative nouns confused with (invariable) compound adjectives such as 'three-day' in a three-day trip. Sometimes, of course, both constructions are possible, so that two weeks' vacation is essentially the same in meaning as a two-week vacation.