I had an English exam and there was a question that says to correct the sentence:

They will have a meeting about concordance and patience reassurance.

I corrected "patience" to "patients". Is it correct?


Nearly, but not quite. When a noun is used as a modifier for another noun, it is nearly always in the singular; so if you want to make "reassurance of patients*" into a noun-noun phrase it is "patient reassurance", not "patients reassurance", even though several patients might be involved.

Edit So the answer is "patient reassurance". "Patients reassurance" is comprehensible, but not what a native English speaker would use. "Patience reassurance" is meaningless, representing a mishearing.

*There are some exceptions, but they are established phrases like "women actors" (the subject of another thread here). If you are using a phrase which is not an established phrase, use the modifying noun in the singular.

  • So (Patience reassurance) is correct as in meaning and grammatically ? – aazz20 Apr 10 '16 at 22:13
  • No. "Patience reassurance" is meaningless - that is a confusion of the quite different words "patient" and "patience". I did say "patient reassurance", but not prominently: I will edit my answer to make it clearer. – Colin Fine Apr 11 '16 at 11:14
  • Just a question: Could patients' work in this context? – J.R. Apr 12 '16 at 1:14
  • @J.R.: yes, I think it could. – Colin Fine Apr 12 '16 at 15:35

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