3

Which sentence is correct? 1. Get a team's iterations 2. Get team's iterations

I think it's 2. My reasoning is: "team's iterations" is a noun group where "team's" is an adjective to the noun that is plural, and indefinite articles are not used with plural forms.

My opponents say that without the "a" article the sentence "doesn't sound natural". I believe they think that the article belongs to the "team" in this case.

  • 2
    1. is correct. You need an article -- it determines the genitive NP. "Team's" is not an adjective; it's a noun functioning as head of the genitive NP "a team's". The noun "iterations" is head of the matrix NP, so we have one NP (the genitive "a team's") functioning in the structure of another (the matrix NP "a team's iterations"). The first division of the whole NP is thus "a team's + iterations". Incidentally, are you sure it should be the genitive "a team's iterations", as opposed to "team iterations"? – BillJ Aug 17 '17 at 17:28
  • 1
    @BillJ - I'm pretty sure that it's "team's", meaning "iterations for a given team". To provide more context, this is a technical spec(visualstudio.com/en-us/docs/integrate/api/work/iterations) for a function where you request iterations for a team by providing its name or id. – Leon Aug 17 '17 at 18:44
  • I should also mention that my first exposure to English was at the age of 24, and your explanation is way over my head :) I'll be looking up "genitive NP" next – Leon Aug 17 '17 at 18:45
  • @Leon as a native speaker, I don't understand much of what BillJ says either. But he's always informative :) – Andrew Aug 17 '17 at 19:38
1

English singular nouns really want a determiner unless they are proper, they are being used abstractly, or they are talking about a type of X rather than an instance of X.

Get team's iterations.

This sounds like you are using "team's" like a proper noun. Like it's a person or person-like entity who is named "Team's."

Do you mean any one team? Then use a/an: "Get a team's iterations ..."

Do you mean a team you talked about earlier or expect the listener/reader to know which one? Use the: "Get the team's iterations ..."

Possessive pronouns work too: "Get my/our/your/his/her/their team's iterations ..."

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.