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(1a) Next week, we will be celebrating our company's eighth birthday. (my sentence)

(1b) Next week, we will be celebrating our company eighth birthday. (my friends' revised sentence)

(2a) Next week, we will be celebrating our company's eighth anniversary. (my sentence)

(2b) Next week, we will be celebrating our company eighth anniversary. (my friends' revised sentence)

May I ask two questions?

(A) My non-native English speaking friends removed the possessive from the word, company. Is it wrong to have it?

(B) Is it okay to use "birthday" as an alternative word for "anniversary"?

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    Sometimes, nouns - referred to as noun adjuncts and by other names - are used to modify other nouns. Typical examples are car door, dog collar and door handle. It would be correct to use company in this way in constructions such as company logo, company headquarters and so on. It would also be possible to refer to the company anniversary but once you insert an ordinal number (eighth), you need to use the possessive, as you did. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_adjunct May 10, 2021 at 23:41
  • @Ronald, if I'm not mistaken you could still write the eighth company anniversary (though certainly not the company eighth birthday).
    – randomhead
    Jun 2, 2021 at 4:07
  • @randomhead Agreed. It would be pretty obvious that the eighth anniversary was being referred to rather than the eighth company (unless perhaps it was Warren Buffett speaking). Jun 2, 2021 at 15:41

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Your friends are wrong. Both of their sentences are not grammatically correct, while yours are correct. The possessive is proper.

Strictly speaking companies are not "born" and do not have "birthdays." But it would not sound out-of-place to anthropomorphize a company and refer to its anniversary as a birthday.

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