I am about to print my Master Thesis and I am a bit confused with the title. My supervisors didn't mention anything so I wanted to ask if the title is grammatically correct. In the thesis, I have four snowflakes and each snowflake has three wake flows. So far the title is: THE MODAL ANALYSIS OF SNOWFLAKES WAKE FLOW But I believe that more grammatically correct is: THE MODAL ANALYSIS OF SNOWFLAKES' WAKE FLOWS Is there someone who can comment on whether I am right or wrong?

P.S. I am not a native English speaker. Best.

  • similarly to this article: jstor.org/stable/44434263, I would assume that the word snowflakes does not take an apostrophe at the end. The possession is implied by the noun's following each other, like: "traffic flow" means "flow of traffic". Also, please share a link to your thesis, I'd be interested to read it :)
    – Snifkes
    Oct 4, 2021 at 18:02
  • Questions about whether a particular sentence is grammatically-correct are off-topic on Writing.SE, and since you're not a native English speaker, I'm going to migrate this to English Language Learners instead.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 4, 2021 at 18:58
  • @Snifkes, In that title, "road vehicle" is singular, so it forms a compound noun with "wakes", unlike "snowflakes", which is plural. Also, you're not showing the best command of apostrophes considering "*the noun's following each other", which is a plural and not possessive, so should have no apostrophe.
    – gotube
    Oct 4, 2021 at 19:48
  • Thank you all for the help. Then, I will go by the @gotube suggestion.
    – Na5H
    Oct 5, 2021 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


"Snowflakes" is a plural noun that possesses "wake flow", so the apostrophe is required.

Without the apostrophe, you have two nouns in a row that do not form a compound noun because the first is plural.

A cleaner alternative is, "THE MODAL ANALYSIS OF SNOWFLAKE WAKE FLOW" (no "s" on "snowflake"). This allows "snowflake wake flow" to form a compound noun. This is natural English and easily understood with your intended meaning.

Further, in my opinion --which I believe is shared by most other native speakers-- pronouncing the possessive apostrophe after an "s" is awkward, so this compound noun alternative will make your title more readable.

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