1. We saw rows of soldiers tents.
  2. We saw rows of soldier tents.
  3. We saw rows of soldiers' tents.

Which of the above is the most accurate sentence?

  • They're all "valid" - as is singular possessive soldier's tents, which you left out. But plural possessive (your last version) is by far the most common form for the exact pair you're asking about. Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:01
  • Here's the evidence from Google NGrams. Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:02
  • @FumbleFingers yes, I deliberately left out the singular possessive as I had the notion of a single soldier owning a single tent. Btw, is 3 equally valid? Is the possessive form an attributive noun? A students centre or a students' centre, which one is correct when the students do not own it, but when it means a centre for them? Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:20
  • I saw him at the student center. But soldiers' tents.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:21
  • 1
    Only in well-recognized phrases like given in those examples. Not here for soldiers or campers.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:42


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