Which of these forms is better: list of tasks or tasks' list? Another question is whether I should use an apostrophe or not (tasks's list vs tasks list).

Other phrases which are similar to this, but aren't quite what I'm looking for, are list of projects and task's action (one task this time).

Maybe the answer is obvious, but English is not my native language so I need to understand it.

  • This is also commonly called a 'to-do list'. – user13141 Sep 23 '11 at 11:11
  • Not exactly. These "tasks" are some kind of items in my application. If I mention task list in documentation, I mean a list of these items. – alekwisnia Sep 23 '11 at 11:18
  • Oops! Got it now. – user13141 Sep 23 '11 at 11:25

The usual phrase is "task list" (without plural or apostrophe).

"List of tasks" is perfectly acceptable, and perhaps preferable in general writing; but in referring to a list (almost like a name for it) "task list" is overwhelmingly the common expression.

"Tasks' list" would be very unusual: the possessive 's and its variants are usually used only for real possession, not for more general relationships; and tend not to be used for abstract nouns, though this is not a firm prohibition.

  • 2
    Ok, so generally I use possesive 's in phrases like "person's belongings" or "Joe's umbrella" and ommit this in phrases like "project launch date" or "task duration". – alekwisnia Sep 23 '11 at 12:14
  • Absolutely. All four of those examples work. – Colin Fine Sep 23 '11 at 12:53

I'd like to add one suggestion to Colin's answer: preferably you'd use "task list" instead of "tasks list" form.

See the following thread for reference: should a list of tokens be called a "token list" or a "tokens list"

  • Your post doesn answer the question and reads more like a comment than an answer. – user140086 Jun 21 '16 at 12:23

protected by user140086 Jun 21 '16 at 12:22

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