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"?


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
  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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