Which of the following phrases are correct?

"Tasks execution time" or "Tasks' execution time"

do we need to use 's in the above phrases or not? and why?

And, what is the correct form of this phrase: "the minimum amount of the execution of the tasks" ?

Any help is appreciated.

  • I don't think we can answer without knowing what it is you are measuring. Is it the total time spent executing tasks? Is the time a single task took? Is it a set of times, each taken by a single task? Or what? Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 12:28

3 Answers 3


We use 's to express the idea of belonging when the first noun is a person, a country or an organization, especially if you can express the same idea with "have". Example: My brothers' clock

Furthermore, "Of" is used with inanimate objects to define possession. Example: The window of the house

Lastly, we have the noun modifiers: We can use noun modifiers to show what something is made of or to show measurements, age or value. Also we often use two nouns together to show that one thing is a part of something else.

In this case we've got "tasks" as a noun and "execution time" shows a characteristic of the noun, hence the correct phrase is: Tasks execution time.


As far as the time for executing task/s is concerned, the term is Task Execution Time (TET). If you want to be particular (still?), you may go with

The time for the execution of tasks

Nevertheless, it's interesting to know that when a noun modifies another noun and functions as an adjective it's called as a noun adjunct or attributive noun.

The apostrophe can be dropped when a plural head noun ends with 's' functions as an adjective and not as a possessor.

Having said this,

Teachers College, Department of Veterans Affair and so on is valid.

  • 1
    So "Mothers Day" is correct after all?! Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 15:56
  • 1
    @PotentialScientist If that answers your concern, choose (this or any one) and close the question. This helps us maintain this wonderful platform.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 5:15
  • @starsplusplus Yes. And so is Valentines Day.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 5:15
  • 1
    Valentines Day! mind is blown Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 8:58
  • @starsplusplus blown - you poked me or got surprised? :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 9:05

You use an apostrophe to show that a thing or person belongs or relates to someone or something: instead of saying the party of Ben or the weather of yesterday, you can write Ben’s party and yesterday’s weather.

Here are the main guidelines for using apostrophes to show possession:

Singular nouns and most personal names

With a singular noun or most personal names: add an apostrophe plus s:

We met at Ben’s party.

Personal names that end in –s

With personal names that end in -s: add an apostrophe plus s when you would naturally pronounce an extra s if you said the word out loud:

He joined Charles’s army in 1642.

Note that there are some exceptions to this rule, especially in names of places or organizations, for example:

St Thomas’ Hospital

If you aren’t sure about how to spell a name, look it up in an official place such as the organization’s website.

With personal names that end in -s but are not spoken with an extra s: just add an apostrophe after the -s:

The court dismissed Bridges' appeal.

Plural nouns that end in –s

With a plural noun that already ends in -s: add an apostrophe after the s:

The mansion was converted into a girls’ school.

Plural nouns that do not end in -s

With a plural noun that doesn’t end in –s: add an apostrophe plus s:

The children’s father came round to see me.

The only cases in which you do not need an apostrophe to show belonging is in the group of words called possessive pronouns - these are the words his, hers, ours, yours, theirs (meaning ‘belonging to him, her, us, you, or them’) - and with the possessive determiners. These are the words his, hers, its, our, your, their (meaning 'belonging to or associated with him, her, it, us, you, or them').



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