Since a noun can be used as modifier of another noun (e.g. family in "good family house"), is it grammatically correct to use this week as modifier, or is only the genitive possible with this week?

If both are acceptable, is there any difference between this week report, and this week's report?

The reason I am asking is that in my native language, nouns are not used as modifiers; in Italian, the equivalent of family house is casa familiare, where familiare is an adjective. Sometimes, I get confused about whether I should use a modifier or another construct.


2 Answers 2


This week report is not acceptable, because a determiner such as this is ordinarily taken to head the entire noun phrase which it heads, not just the element which follows it.

That is, this week report would be parsed as [this [week report]]: it implies that a specific [week report] is under discussion.

As far as I know week report is not a meaningful compound, so the mismatch is immediately apparent. But suppose the construction employed your other example, family house, which is a meaningful compound. The phrase this family house would be parsed as *[this [family house]], that is, "the family house I am pointing at". It cannot be parsed as [[this family] house], "the house of the family I am pointing at".

Accordingly, you require a construction which somehow isolates [this week] as a noun phrase: this week's report or the report for this week. You could in theory write the this-week report, introducing a new determiner; but that's not idiomatic, because it doesn't reflect a speakable construction: there are no hyphens in speech.


As StoneyB says, there isn't a good way of using "this week" as a modifier noun, however there are options to use the adjective form of the word "week", i.e. "weekly":

This is the weekly report from HR.

We need the weekly report before Monday.

I've just come from our weekly staff meeting.

Alternatively, you can always choose to use the genitive directly:

This is this week's report.

I'm going to this week's staff meeting in five minutes.

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