Is it correct to say user accounts or users account when referring to the accounts any user has on a site like this one?

In general, in the case of a noun that is used as adjective for the noun that follows, is it better to use <plural-noun> <singular-noun> or <singular-noun> <plural-noun>?

up vote 21 down vote accepted

<singular-noun> <plural-noun>

is the way to go.

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    What if there is more than two nouns involved? For example, if I have multiple newspapers, where each one has multiple articles, each article having itself multiple authors, should I say "Newspaper article authors"? Or "Newspaper articles authors"? – Maël Nison Apr 3 '15 at 16:03
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    Jobs report, drugs dealer, weapons manufacturer, numbers crunching, Cubs fan, birds conservation etc – Alan Carmack Dec 7 '16 at 14:30
  • @AlanCarmack red herring is red and also a herring. And the worst part is, you full well know it. Don't troll noobs. They will keep making mistakes because of you. And just by the way: some of your examples are exceptionally ungrammatical in my neck of the woods. – RegDwigнt Dec 8 '16 at 10:53
  • @MaëlNison "Newspaper article authors" refers to any authors of any articles that are found in any newspaper. "This newspaper's article authors" refers to any authors of any articles in this newspaper. "This newspaper article's authors" refers to any authors of this newspaper article. Using the possessive is an indication of whether you're talking about the general (e.g. any newspaper article) or the specific (e.g. this particular newspaper article). – Flater Sep 19 '17 at 8:27
  • Sorry to bother, but I have a lot of trouble this those plural rules. Let's say that I have 10 datapages, each datapage have 1 id. An array of those "datapages ids", whould be named "DataPagesIds", "DataPageIds", "DataPage's Ids"... ? I am voluntarily reffering to technical stuff, because if I write <singular-noun> <plural-noun> (DataPageIds), we may think that 1 data page have 10 ids, where I mean the reverse... And if I write (DataPagesId), this is not good either, I could have 1 unique id for those 10 datapages. So datapage ids seems correct to me, yet more confusing than datapages ids. – Eric Burel Oct 10 '17 at 9:11

Use user account for one account and user accounts for many accounts.

This is a compound noun with account modified by user. In such cases, we use the singular form of the first noun. Other examples are car keys and house windows.

  • oeh... this is singular, there's missing an s. – Em1 Jun 25 '12 at 8:21

You seem to have answered you own question.

"... when referring to the accounts any user has on a ..."

One user. Multiple accounts. "User accounts". "Users Account," while not meaning anything at all, sounds like multiple users are using one acocunt--or like "Brothers Grimm..." but that doesn't work in the same way...

  • User's Account, refers to the "the users" account, which is singular. – Anonymous Type Feb 20 '11 at 22:16

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