1. Please confirm reception of my emails dated Jan. 15.

With Saxon genitive:

  1. Please confirm my emails dated Jan. 15's reception.

  2. Please confirm my emails dated Jan. 15' reception.

Which of 2 or 3 (or neither) is correct? I ask not about 1, even if it's more common.

  • 'Please confirm my emails of the 15th Jan' is how I would word it.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 16, 2018 at 6:37
  • 1
    I don't understand how "Saxon genitive" has a place here or how "Please confirm my emails of the 15th Jan" makes the choice the OP wanted or how either of the OP's examples could ever be acceptable. Jan 25, 2018 at 20:41
  • Neither option 2 nor option 3 make much sense to me. In any case, 'receipt' would be the more common word to use, not 'reception', which implies receiving a person, not an object. Thus, I would say 'Please confirm receipt of my e-mails of the 15th of January'.
    – JDF
    Mar 20, 2018 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


3 ("my emails dated Jan. 15' reception") is certainly incorrect. A final apostrophe can only ever be used to mark the "Saxon genitive" when it comes directly after an /s/ or /z/ sound.* In other contexts, the "Saxon genitive" marker has to be written as <'s>, even when the head noun is plural: note that we write children's, not children'.

So if you must use either 2 or 3, 2 would be preferable (but not good, for reasons mentioned in the comments: it sounds very unnatural to me).

*There are also other, more complicated criteria that further restrict the use of the final apostrophe: for example, even though the irregular plural noun geese ends in /s/, the plural possessive has to be written as geese's (pronounced /giːsɨz/). In some contexts, the usage of <'> vs. <'s> is not uniform, even for educated speakers.


1 is correct and the one I prefer.

2 is grammatically correct but feels clumsy. I had to read it twice.

3 is not grammatically correct.

The Saxon genitive only applies with a /s/ or /z/ sound at the end. 15 has neither (it's a /n/).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.