My problem is about the possessive s (the ownership s) not that ending-s.

For example, we say, America's Flag, here the America has gotten one ownership s that is America is the owner of that Flag. And also we say, Computer Science, here that Computer doesn't get the ownership s (why?) even though we talk about Science which is of Computer (here).

My question is when we should add that s to the end of the first name which appear to be the owner of the second name? Or how we can recognize what names get that s, please?

  • 2
    Computer in Computer Science is attributive. This answer could be helpful.
    – user1513
    Jun 18, 2014 at 7:29
  • Crossposted to ELU. Jun 18, 2014 at 19:54
  • @Fantasier: Very complex for an English language newcomer. But thanks for the comment. Jun 19, 2014 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


That is because computer is used attributive to science. A bit like an adjective, in the sense that computer describes the kind of science. It' snot an adjective though, because of the reasons in the post that Fantasier linked to.

You could say that the noun computer "acts as" an adjective.

It is the same thing that happens in other compound nouns, like

history teacher
ticket office
race horse

Actually, the science does not belong to the computer (my computer is unable to show me any science that it possesses!) but rather, the science is about computers.

  • I came here as you had wanted it. OK I somewhat got that how can I recognize where to use of that s and where not to. But you said there is a clean rule in this case. If there really is some rule which according to that we can clearly identify where to and not to add that s please tell me that rule. This solves the whole of the issue likely. Thanks. Jun 22, 2014 at 7:31
  • No complete obvious final rule!? Jun 24, 2014 at 13:41

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