Can I use "Teachers portal" instead of "teachers' portal"? Which of them is more accurate?


The problems with "teachers portal" is that it is a noun1 + noun2 combination with noun1 acting adjectivally.

Noun1 is thus only very rarely inflected - and this includes the plural 's'. This gives the impression of noun1 being uncountable.

Thus "teachers/teachers' portal" should be "teacher portal".

For example, the "Department of Languages" would be "The Language Department." and then there is "The student's room" - a room for one student; "The students' room" - the room for many students, and "the student room" - the room associated with students in general.

As an aside, the genitive 's' is only loosely associated with possession, it is more associated with some sort of connection or attribute. It is this that licences the use of the genitive 's' with inanimate objects that cannot, of themselves "possess" anything.

  • Note the frequency with which teachers pay occurs on the internet, 'The Teachers Resource Guide to the Library', and the choice of the plural-form attributive in New York City Teachers Union, Boston Teachers Union, Chicago Teachers Union, Baltimore Teachers Union. Counterexamples still occur, but 'Thus "teachers/teachers' portal" should be "teacher portal" ' is unjustifiable. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 18 '20 at 11:57
  • Oooo... a disagreement between two of my favorite contributors. This is fun. – RobJarvis Jun 18 '20 at 13:50
  • @EdwinAshworth Note the frequency with which teachers pay occurs on the internet, I do, Edwin, I do... Do you think that if their teachers had been paid more, the apostrophe would not have been forgotten? - Teachers' pay. – Greybeard Jun 19 '20 at 17:22
  • No, often teachers pay nowadays. As with travellers cheques, 'The Harlem Writers Guild', working mens clubs. There are doubtless books on this available at Waterstones (other bookshops are available), who dropped the apostrophe after much careful deliberation. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 19 '20 at 18:49

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