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I would like to know which of the following is grammatically acceptable, please.

The first American students' scientific conference
The first American students scientific conference
The first American student's scientific conference
The first American student scientific conference

  • Do you just want to know which ones are possibly grammatically acceptable, or do you have a specific meaning that you are trying to capture as well? – jbelacqua Mar 17 '11 at 4:24
  • All of these are in some measure acceptable, but most of them are ambiguous and the ones that aren't probably don't mean what you want them to mean. What meaning are you trying to convey? – user1579 Mar 17 '11 at 13:15
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I would say

The first American students' scientific conference

Supporting example : The European Students' Conference (ESC)

and

The first American student scientific conference

Supporting example : United Nations International Student Conference of Amsterdam (UNISCA)

are both grammatically correct.

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The first American students' scientific conference

acceptable

The first American students scientific conference

not acceptable

The first American student's scientific conference

not acceptable

The first American student scientific conference

acceptable (probably best)

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    "The first American student's scientific conference" is acceptable but it probably doesn't mean what was intended: The first American student has a scientific conference. – MrHen Mar 17 '11 at 16:06
  • I don't understand. Can you explain? – MrHen Mar 18 '11 at 13:00
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The last two sound incorrect to me, and I think that the first two are interchangeable. As your conference will need branding, I recommend option 2, which does not have the apostrophe (always an issue in logos, emails headers, etc.). Enjoy your conference!

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