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I'm sorry I couldn't word that better, the following example will hopefully clarify:

sample picture

As you can see, the teacher refered to the bank of words as "word bank", as opposed to "words bank". Which one is correct? If "words bank" is the only correct usage then wouldn't it be fair to say that the exercise was resolved perfectly?

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marked as duplicate by MετάEd, FumbleFingers, aedia λ, Mitch, RegDwigнt Apr 25 '13 at 13:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I do not understand your question. – tchrist Apr 21 '13 at 19:19
the teacher used "word bank" instead of "words bank", is any of those incorrect in this context? – Mr D Apr 21 '13 at 19:24
Bank is not “a words”, so “words bank” is wrong. Why would you think otherwise? – tchrist Apr 21 '13 at 19:26
because its a bank of words, not a bank of word – Mr D Apr 21 '13 at 19:28
Modifiers, whether noun or adjective, do not take plurals. Only head nouns take plurals. Thus, even though almost all customers will purchase two shoes at a time, the name of the store they buy them at is not a *Shoes Store, but rather a Shoe Store (Except in Penang, where I have seen a Shoes Store sign). – John Lawler Apr 21 '13 at 20:24
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You are actually asking two questions here, and 'No' is the answer to each of them. A bank containing words is properly referred to as a word bank not a *words bank, just as a place to park cars is a car park not a *cars park. What Emma appears to have ignored is the difference between using the word bank and mentioning it. If the exercise had said "use the word 'bank'"or "use the word bank" (which is the normal usage here), she would have been correct; but as it is 0/7 is the right mark.

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"If the exercise had said "use the word 'bank'"or "use the word bank" (which is the normal usage here)" You meant instead of? – Mr D Apr 21 '13 at 20:16
@MrD: No, you have missed the italics. Emma's mistake can be forgiven; yours, not so much. – TimLymington Apr 21 '13 at 20:20

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