Why do not we use 's for "government departments"? For example: Government departments are either ministerial departments or non-ministerial departments and we do not say Government's departments are either... .

ans also is there a clear solution for the correct usage of 's?

  • Clarify it further. Government departments are either ministerial or non-ministerial departments - is okay! Where 's is confusing you?
    – Maulik V
    Feb 6, 2014 at 9:53

1 Answer 1


The apostrophe 's' ('s) can be dropped when the noun is attributive noun and acts more like an adjective than a possessor.

Attributive noun - a noun used like an adjective and modifies another noun.

In addition to Government Departments, this includes examples of - government policy, administration policy, portrait painter etc.

Not only for Government, there are many such examples. One of them is discussed here.

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