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As a teacher, which of the following should I say?

  • We have a teacher–parent meeting on Monday 9th.
  • We have a teacher–parents meeting on Monday 9th.
  • We have a parent–teacher conference on Monday 9th.
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3  
Those are all grammatical sentences. What are you having trouble making your mind up about? –  Matt Эллен Jan 2 '12 at 14:27
    
Are all of the above sentences acceptable then? –  lukas Jan 2 '12 at 14:33
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All the three are correct. But the third one sounds very common, correct, and not odd. –  javaDisciple Jan 2 '12 at 14:37
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Parent-Teacher Conference (capitals optional) is the usual phrase in the United States. –  John Lawler Jan 2 '12 at 15:24
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To my U.S. ear, "Monday 9th" sounds odd, although clear (if the month is obvious). "Monday, the 9th" would be more typical. –  mgkrebbs Jan 2 '12 at 19:56
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I agree with others that parent-teacher is much more commonly used than the other way around. The word "conference" is very common, but also commonly used is "parent-teacher interview".

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I'm not sure about the second sentence; why would one word be singular and the other plural? That looks odd to me. And probably out of respect to the parents, I think 'parent' usually come first. Remember the song is Harper Valley PTA (parent-teacher association), not TPA.

I've just Googled 'teacher parents meeting', and the first page showed overwhelmingly 'parent-teacher' meeting.

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I checked Google Books, where "parent-teacher meeting" gets 11,400 hits, against only 614 for "teacher-parent meeting". The figures aren't quite so overwhelmingly biased for "conference", but they're similar. +1 for Harper Valley PTA, but you are right anyway! :) –  FumbleFingers Jan 2 '12 at 21:41
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I would use the first sentence ("We have a teacher-parent meeting on Monday 9th"), but the other two are equally valid. The third sentence uses conference, for which one of the definitions is "a formal meeting for discussion."

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