Consider the following sentence:

Who is the president of France?

I want to build a shorter sentence and I don't know if I should use a noun adjective or possessive mark:

Who is the France's president?


Who is the France president?

Replacing of by 's seems more logic, but the second sentence looks ok to me.

Thus, my questions are:

  • Which of these sentences are grammaticaly correct?
  • If both are correct, should I prefer one sentence?
  • 1
    Your first example is fine. France's in your second example is a genitive noun phrase acting as a determiner, so there's no room for the determiner the; you should say "Who is France's president?" In your third example, using France as an attributive noun ("Who is the France president?") is grammatical but it probably isn't what you want to do here (for semantic reasons).
    – user230
    Feb 17, 2015 at 11:18
  • 1
    Adding a rather crucial point to what snailboat said: your latter option saves a mere three characters, and the former just one (one!). "Who's France's president?" saves four, and even "Who's France's president?" would only save six — you have used 80 times as many for this post alone. Talk about straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. Leave it as it was. It was fine. And now it isn't. Do not fix what's not broken.
    – ЯegDwight
    Feb 17, 2015 at 12:05

3 Answers 3


When you talk about possessiveness, the article is not put.

The house of Tom -okay


The Tom's house - not okay.


Who is the president of France? -okay
Who is France's president? -okay.


Who is the France's president? -not okay.

As far are preferring one is concerned, "The president of...." is more common I think.

  • 1
    Although one might discuss the semantics, a very common option is of course who's the French president?.
    – oerkelens
    Feb 17, 2015 at 12:30
  • 1
    The OP wanted to know about "Who is the France president?" as well. Perhaps you could add a note about that sentence to your answer.
    – user230
    Feb 17, 2015 at 12:43

Neither make sense.

Who is the president of France?

makes the most logical sense, but its the one you want to shorten.

Who is the Frances president?

Is incorrect because of "The", but could be logistically shortened even more as "Who is Frances president?".

Who is the France president?

Is using the wrong term for French. Can't remember what its called right now but that has it's own term in English. It could also be easily fixed as:

Who is the French president?


"Who is the France president?" is incorrect, but you can say "Who is the French president?" Still, "Who is the president of France?" is the most colloquial.

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