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So I and my mom are having a debate over whether 'request denial' is even a phrase in the English language. Is it used in the common language, and if so where is it used? My mother says that it could be used in this sentence:
'If you have any reason for this request denial, then please inform me'.

Can such a phrase like this exist?

Personally, I don't think that it's a phrase, but my mother seems adamant about and I just want to know if such a phrase even exists.

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    Well it exists in your mother's sentence, though I think there are more elegant ways to word that. But if you google it you'll find a number of other instances.
    – nnnnnn
    Aug 28, 2021 at 10:46
  • yeah, I tried googling the phrase, but google doesn't seem to provide me with instances of its use. Instead, it gives me definitions of 'denial of request'
    – Anonymous
    Aug 28, 2021 at 10:56
  • Bruh, the link that you sent takes me to a page where it shows me how to write a denial request letter. I just want to know if the phrase is used correctly if it even is a correct phrase
    – Anonymous
    Aug 28, 2021 at 11:06
  • We would usually say "the denial of this request," but we use lots of similar phrases like "school refusal" and "dentist appointment", so I don't think you will find any rules saying it's ungrammatical. Aug 28, 2021 at 11:07

2 Answers 2

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It is not a "phrase" in the sense of a fixed phrase - it is a simple collocation.

"Request denial" is two nouns. This is a common and productive way of producing compound nouns.

Nouns can act adjectivally to modify the following noun in this way:

Noun1 noun2 = the noun2 associated with noun1.

The Language Department = the department associated with language.

A beer bottle = a bottle associated with beer.

There can be several nouns together:

A beer bottle shape = a shape associated with a bottle that is itself associated with beer.

NB: When nouns are used together like this, they form one compound noun and cannot be separated.

The modern {Language Department}

  • The Language modern Department

Because noun1 acts adjectivally, it is not common for noun1 to be plural.

But The modern Department of Languages

The Department of Modern Languages

-> you will note that these mean different things.

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As this page of research shows, "request denial" is a term of the English language, but it is apparently a specialized term restricted to American English, and at that a term that has a defined sense only in the domain of the law.

The term is also found in American English in the domain of health. It is the act of a physician that consists in refusing a request that has been put to him/her by a patient.

(ref.) Abstract
Background: Physician denial of patient requests is associated with lower patient satisfaction. Our objective was to explore factors that influence physician request denial and patient satisfaction after request denial.

(NLM) When Physicians Say No: Predictors of Request Denial and Subsequent Patient Satisfaction.

Apparently, this term has not yet found its way into the dictionaries nor into British English.

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