For the compound noun teachers day, some people call it teacher day and some other call it teachers' day. However, I believe that apostrophe implies possession and so as a day cannot be possessed by a teacher but only devoted so I think it's incorrect to say teachers' day and instead teachers day should be used.

Also, is it compulsory to use capital t(T) when referring to teacher's day as:

The day usually starts with a warm Teachers Day speech to thank the teachers for their contribution. Few traditional methods include gifting beautiful Teachers Day cards and gifts to the teacher as tokens of love and respect. Some students also select popular Teachers Day quotes to convey hearty messages to their teachers and leave it at their desk.

  • This reads like "Teachers Day" is the name of an event, rather than describing someone's day? Is that the case here?
    – user3169
    Sep 5, 2017 at 5:21
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    It's not a compound noun - compounds are single words. I think It's arguable whether it should be the genitive "teachers' say" or "teachers day" where "teachers" is modifying "day", though the genitive seems correct to me
    – BillJ
    Sep 5, 2017 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


You are confused with the word 'possession' which is not actually owning something in all the cases especially when it is someone's day. They don't own the day, rather, those days are 'named' after them. It's similar to naming some street 'Michael Jackson Street' where the legendary does not own it!

Had it been named after a single person it could have been a singular apostrophe. Say - Valentine's Day. But here, we are talking about the masses and their day. So, 'Teachers' Day'.

And yes, it's mandatory to use the capital letter. Because, it's a proper noun given to the day. That said, all the 'days' celebrated will have their first letters capitalized.

In pronunciation, I don't think 'Teachers' Day' and 'Teachers Day' make any difference.

  • Well, I am not sure whether we should have any apostrophe at all. Why should we use apostrophe in this context?
    – Anubhav
    Sep 6, 2017 at 11:12
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    @AnubhavSingh why would you say 'It's his day' and not 'It's he day?' You see a sort of possession there? Nevertheless, there is something called an attributive noun which goes without the apostrophe. Say: Cricket Team Coach instead of Cricket team's coach.
    – Maulik V
    Sep 7, 2017 at 4:37

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