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Should I write 'girls school' or ' girls' school' with an apostrophe? Which one is correct?

marked as duplicate by ColleenV parted ways Jul 20 '17 at 17:45

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Either one is correct. I think I've seen "Girls School", without the apostrophe, more often. But Google Ngrams says it is more common with the apostrophe. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=girls+school%2Cgirls%27+school&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cgirls%20school%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cgirls%20%27%20school%3B%2Cc0

A possessive makes sense because a school may "belong to" girls, i.e. in context it is intended for the education of girls.

A noun can be used as an adjective to indicate that something is of a given type. For example we write "automobile parts" meaning that the parts are of type automobile, or "chemistry class" meaning that the class is of type chemistry. Similarly we can write "Girls School" indicating a school that is of type girls, i.e. for the education of girls.

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