I have the following (probably, but hopefully not) problem. For me, it is often not clear when to use a possessive apostrophe in engineering speech. Consider the following sentence:

thus influencing the process’s output

It seems to me that I could just as well write

thus influencing the process output

Is the reason that there would be a difference in meaning between the two sentences? Or can I omit an apostrophe in certain situations?

  • Which is the one that you actually say? – tchrist Feb 19 '18 at 16:21
  • I am reviewing something and the author uses the process's output. I remember rarely using an apostrophe even though there would obviously be many opportunities. Such as the factory output and factory's output... It seems to be a matter of perspective. Just wanted to clarify on this – Sebastian E Feb 20 '18 at 13:28
  • We use apostrophe with s to show the possession for people,organizations ,animals and countries not for objects.as far as I know for showing possession of objects (and everything other than cases I mentioned above) we use "of". So I think it is much better to say " the output of process". – Lara Feb 24 '18 at 19:29
  • Lara might have an interesting time depending that and English makes no distinction between a worker's output, his supervisor's output, his factory's output or his industry's output - and the process's output is not different. Even the advanced and certainly this basic use of apostrophes, should natively have been covered at school by about age 11 and belongs much better to English Language Learners than here in ELU. "Process output" is a wholly different part of speech. While clearly there's a choice between styles, "process's output" and "process output" aren't even comparable. – Robbie Goodwin Mar 1 '18 at 22:57
  • Couldn't I write both "process A is a good process. The process's output is 100" or "process A is a good process. The process output is 100". Of course I can't write "process A output is 100", but that was never the question... – Sebastian E Mar 2 '18 at 9:47

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