2

I found this:

Fear is an essential attribute of human nature. It plays a crucial role in human survival.

But we cannot use:

Fear is an essential attribute of human nature. It plays a crucial role in human's survival.

Why?

4

In the first sentence, the word human is being used as an adjective. What kind of survival? Human survival, meaning the survival of humans in general.

In the second sentence, human must be a noun, because it has the possessive 's, and only nouns and proper names can use that. But this causes a problem: human is a count noun, so you can't just say "human's survival", you need an article, like a human's survival, or this human's survival. Using human as a noun also changes the meaning of the sentence, because now you're not talking about the survival of humans as a general concept, but the survival of one particular human.

Another way you could phrase it is

It plays a crucial role in humans' survival.

This sentence uses humans as the plural noun, so it can still take the possessive, but it means "the survival of all humans". When you make the possessive of a plural noun that ends in s, you just add ', not 's.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.