Not finding a solid answer on google.

This title:

Schools Pupils' Reports to Parents

School's Pupils' Reports to Parents

Which one is correct?

  • 1
    Please see also English Language Learners There are also some related previous posts on this site. – Kris May 21 '18 at 7:10
  • Do you have any examples @Kris? Not seen an exmaple to cover this double potential 's – John May 21 '18 at 7:12
  • I would say school's pupil reports myself. They are from (of) the school, they are each about an individual pupil and they are in the plural. – Nigel J May 21 '18 at 8:34
  • english.stackexchange.com/q/280530/14666 might be of some help. – Kris May 21 '18 at 9:51
  • Both are horrible. If this is a title “School Reports” will do. If this is text “School reports to Parents” will avoid the possessive and “pupils” is superfluous — who else would the report be about. Never let yourself be trapped between unsatisfactory alternatives in English. Always restructure and simplify. (Which would you prefer, the gallows or the electric chair?) – David Apr 19 at 18:37

There is no grammar rule against consecutive possessives; saying something like Mary's dog's bed's pillow's color matches my shirt is grammatically acceptable. It is, however, a stylistic issue as it doesn't read very well (My shirt matches the color of the pillow on the bed Mary's dog sleeps on is still a bit unwieldy but definitely better).

In other words, school's would imply that there's only one school whereas schools is just wrong. If there are multiple schools, you should write schools'. Regular punctuation rules.

That said, I wouldn't use either as a title. It's confusing at best. If the report in question is by the pupils, then it should just be (School) Pupils' Reports to Parents.

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