I'm working on a web service and we need to create new menu section, which should list entities to configurate different shops' parameters. Which form of this phrase is right in this case and why?

  • Shop configuration
  • Shops configuration
  • Shops' configuration
  • Andrew's suggested duplicate is the wrong question to link it to; it's also a duplicate, and the question it's linked to doesn't answer the OP's question well. I have seen a question that has a good answer for the OP's question, but there are so many similar questions on this site it's hard to find it. – Peter Shor Mar 5 '13 at 13:44
  • The form "shop configuration" sounds best to me. You could also grammatically use "shop's configuration", but that doesn't sound as good to me. You should not use "shops' configuration", because (unlike "users' group"), a configuration is associated to only a single shop. – Peter Shor Mar 5 '13 at 13:48
  • Thanks for reply. The point is there are many shops (pretty homogeneous though) and there are some options to configurate them. – Andrei Arsenin Mar 5 '13 at 13:54
  • I've read some articles on plurals and possessives and now I'm just frustrated to choose the right combination for my case. "Users Group" is a bit similar, but configuration is more general entity than group, so I can't directly relate these cases. – Andrei Arsenin Mar 5 '13 at 13:57
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    @AndrewLeach Yes, that question helped to see the issue in different perspectives. Also, it has an answer to other questions I haven't sounded yet :) – Andrei Arsenin Mar 5 '13 at 14:17

There are two possible (although very much related) meanings of configuration here.

If you take "configuration" to mean "the act of configuring", only "shop configuration" is grammatical (compare "airplane flying" and "ship navigation").

If you take "configuration" to mean "the result of the act of configuring", then you could use either "shop's configuration" or "shop configuration" (or maybe even "shops' configuration" if you can have one configuration associated with multiple shops).

I would guess that you want to allow for both meanings (because I am assuming that your website lets the users configure the shops), so I would suggest "shop configuration".

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  • Yes, these are correct guesses. – Andrei Arsenin Mar 5 '13 at 14:11

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