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I am not sure whether patient needs to be plural or singular in the title sentence. If it's plural is it then "patients' lives"?

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If you are referring to patients in general, you will be unlikely to upset anyone if you punctuate it as:

This positively affects patients' lives.

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  • yes, that is right. I am talking about patients in general and how they are affected by different diseases/symptoms/etc. Thank you very much for your comment. I will go for patient's lives then :-) – user47109 Aug 12 '13 at 11:29
  • NOOO! Patients' lives. Apostrophe after the 's'. – Barrie England Aug 12 '13 at 11:42
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    wuuh typo, but made it right in the text, though :-) – user47109 Aug 12 '13 at 11:46
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  1. "This positively affects patient lives and"
  2. "This positively affects patients' lives and"

In the first sentence, the group "patient lives" is a compound noun. Here you should just pluralize the last noun of that group.

In the second sentence, the group "patients' lives" is a genitive construction. Here you should pluralize both nouns.

Both sentences are valid and their meaning is equal.

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