Would this sentence be correct? Is it okay to use the possessive on a number?

I am writing a formal document and I cannot use the name of the people I spoke with.

For example, let's say I spoke to Peter. I would want to say: "Peter's statement demonstrates his understanding of genetics"

Peter is Student number 1. Would it be correct to say: "Student 1's statement demonstrated his understanding of genetics"

4 Answers

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  • 6 months ago

    You can self-define a name, a title (as in this case) and then treat it as you would any proper noun when it comes to possession. There is a person we identify as "Student 1", so you could say that Student 1's choices were such-and-such, or whatever you would like to say. I would also prefer using a word instead of a numeral for one/1 in this situation, but it is not required.

    • John P
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      Personally I would avoid the awkwardness of "Student 1's statement" by writing: "The statement by Student 1".

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  • 6 months ago

    I would say "Student number 1's ... " but maybe better is "One of my sources said...."

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  • 6 months ago

    I agree with @Speed that spelling out the number is better. 'Student One's statement' ...

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  • Speed
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Yes, that would be correct. If it bothers the eye, consider naming him Student One, the possessive Student One's.

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