could you then email our New York office with the sales figures for this month?

It's part of a conversation but I've written this just for example. Why must we say "New York Office" rather than "New York's office"?

When is it possible to use Possessive Case, when could we use a format like "New York office", and what do you call that?

  • You already have a possessive - our. The thing you possess is an office in New York, not an office of New York.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


New York doesn't possess anything in this sentence. It is being used as an adjective to qualify "office." That's all.

To be frank, I'm not really sure what you're asking with your other questions. You can use "New York office" whenever you want to describe an office that's in New York. A valid usage of "New York's" might be something like:

It's a very tall building, but not as tall as New York's Empire State.

The Empire State building is a cultural icon strongly associated with New York, so although New York as a city (or a state, depending on context) cannot "own" things, the building "belongs" to New York. It is a bit of a metaphor in this usage.

Other things that you can apply possession of a place like New York to would be: its laws, history, officials, etc.

  • OK,thanks. but there is some situation that it's a little bit confusing for me for example consider a case like this: which one is correct "door key" or "door's key".
    – Parham.Sh
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 9:42
  • They are both correct, but they mean something different. "Door key" just describes a key as one that fits into some door. "Door's key" could specify that the key fits in one specific door which you are talking about in the same context. Example: "Don't try to fit that in the mailbox lock, it is a door key." vs. "I can't get into the storage room because I can't find that door's key." Again, a door cannot literally own things, but we use the possessive case to indicate that the key fits that door specifically.
    – Crazy Eyes
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:08

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