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I currently work at a research institution, where various academic seminars are held nearly every week, and I receive a seminar information email from my colleague every week. It's more or less like the following.

NEXT WEEK SEMINARS - we inform the next week seminars information.

  • Aug 17, Tue 15:00~16:00  ABCDE Research Program
  • Aug 20, Fri 15:30~17:00  VWXYZ Science Colloquium

I feel there is something strange with the title part. Thinking about what is(are) wrong, I came to the following assumption.

Assumption #1: The phrase next week seminar seems to be unnatural.
Assumption #2: The use of inform might be awkward.

As a result of my assumption above, I came up with the following correction suggestion.

NEXT WEEK'S SEMINARS - we inform you of next week's seminar information every (day of a week).

Would you please kindly advise me if my assumption is a nice try? Or, am I totally misunderstanding?

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    It is definitely wrong. You don't inform information, but people. In any case, the title NEXT WEEK'S SEMINARS should be self-explanatory. Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 8:29
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    Some Latin languages use the equivalent verb to inform transitively. They say We inform that.... Although similar verbs (warn, advise) are now used in this manner without direct objects, inform still requires an object - someone, group etc to be informed. Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 11:35

1 Answer 1

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Your assumptions are correct. The title isn't natural English.

Assumption #1: The phrase next week seminar seems to be unnatural.

Right. NEXT WEEK'S SEMINARS

This is explained on grammar websites such as books4languages.com

The possessive case is used to talk about things that belong to a person, an animal or a thing. We can use it with time phrases to express that something is connected to a certain period of time. "I showed her the article you wrote in today’s newspaper."

You should use the possessive case with such time phrases.

Assumption #2: The use of inform might be awkward.

Right. You inform somebody about something. You can't omit the indirect object of somebody.

NEXT WEEK'S SEMINARS should be sufficient, without any other text.

If you were required to append another sentence, it could be

  • Seminar schedule for the next week
  • Information about next week's seminars
  • We are pleased to inform you about a number of new, engaging seminars happening next week.
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  • Thank you, Sam, Kate, and Ronald, for all your comment and answer, which have cleared my mind. I'm now confident about the usage of "inform" and the phrase "NEXT WEEK'S SEMINARS," but I still cannot tell what is exactly wrong with "NEXT WEEK SEMINARS." I have this feeling, especially when I encounter a sentence like the following, which seems to be written by a native English speaker. Your reports will be due in person at the beginning of the next week seminar or TA presentation. (Source: luc.edu/media/lucedu/chemistry/syllabi/spring2010/Chem_380.pdf)
    – Takashi
    Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 5:00
  • @Takashi I updated the answer with a link to more information. You should use the possessive case for certain time expressions.
    – Sam
    Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 14:58

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