Hello everyone.

This is __ 

1. a photo of mine
2. a photo of me
3. a friend of mine
4. a friend of me(x)
5. a friend of Tom
6. a friend of Tom's

 

I know that only 4 is incorrect. But isn't it the counterpart of 2 or 6? What makes it wrong? 

Considering there is a difference in meaning between 1 and 2, is there any between 5 and 6?

Last edited by Robby zhu
Original Post

I'm afraid 5 is wrong as well as 4. I guess you mean 4 is a counterpart of 2 and 5.

We can say "a friend / car / photo of mine / his / ours / Tom's, etc." to show possessive relationships, equivalent to "one of my / his / our / Tom's friends / cars / photos".

"A photo of me" is an interesting exception which means I'm in this photo. It doesn't show a possessive relationship, but 1 does.

Therefore, 1, 2, 3 and 6 are grammatical while 1 and 2 have different meaning.

Kinto posted:

I'm afraid 5 is wrong as well as 4.

Actually, although 5 (a friend of Tom) is unusual and perhaps even old-fashioned, it is not incorrect. Moreover, a friend of Tom differs subtly in meaning from a friend of Tom's. I did some research on this a while ago and shall now quote the fruits thereof. The quotations below are from the grammars of Sweet and Poutsma:

The pleonastic genitive, as in he is a friend of my brother's, is generally partitive = 'one of the friends of my brother'; he is a friend of my brother would imply 'he is friendly towards my brother.'

-- Sweet, Henry. A New English Grammar: Part II: Logical and Historical, §2010. The Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1898.

-----------------------

"There can be no doubt, however, that of when followed by a genitive is mostly understood in a partitive sense. But this partitive sense is more or less vague. Thus such a phrase as two friends of my brother's does not necessarily imply that the number of friends is larger than two, a notion which would be expressed by two of my brother's friends. On the other hand it does not limit the number of friends to two, as is done by my brother's two friends.
V. The partitive meaning which more or less attaches to the idiom, often causes the common case to be preferred when any such notion is foreign to the speaker's or writer's intention.
a) relation of possession.
i. The note . . . informed Mr. Esmond Warrington that his relatives at Castlewood, and among them a dear friend of his grandfather, were most anxious that he should come to 'Colonel Esmond's house in England'. Thack., Virg., Ch. II, 24.
His wife's father was a great friend of good Bishop Ken. Ib., Ch. XXII, 224.
He was a close friend of Ernest Jones. Annie Besant, Autobiography, 72."

-- Poutsma, Hendrik. A Grammar of Late Modern English, Part II, Volume 1, p. 80. P. Noordhoff: Groningen, 1914.

Last edited by David, Moderator
David, Moderator posted:

Actually, although 5 (a friend of Tom) is unusual and perhaps even old-fashioned, it is not incorrect. Moreover, a friend of Tom differs subtly in meaning from a friend of Tom's.

Thanks and what about these:

He is __

7. A son of my mother's cousin's

8. A son of my mother's cousin.

Which is more natural, if both are correct?

 

 

Last edited by Robby zhu
Robby zhu posted:

Thanks and what about these:

He is __

7. A son of my mother's cousin's

8. A son of my mother's cousin.

Which is more natural, if both are correct?

Which do you suppose is more natural, Robby zhu? The choice is clear as day.

David, Moderator posted:
Robby zhu posted:

Thanks and what about these:

He is __

7. A son of my mother's cousin's

8. A son of my mother's cousin.

Which is more natural, if both are correct?

Which do you suppose is more natural, Robby zhu? The choice is clear as day.

Well, theoretically, 7 should be natural.

But someone says 8 is natural and that 7 is not even correct. I read:

"but you cannot say *"a friend of my mother's cousin's". You have to say "a friend of my mother's cousin". I don't know what the rule is."

https://forum.wordreference.co...iend-of-him.1096023/

That's why I ask.

 

Perhaps the most natural way to address him is "my mother's cousin's son", so both 7 and 8 are not commonly used. Therefore, there is a disparity here.

Last edited by Robby zhu
Robby zhu posted:

Perhaps the most natural way to address him is "my mother's cousin's son", so both 7 and 8 are not commonly used. Therefore, there is a disparity here.

Yes, my mother's cousin's son works well, as does a son of my mother's cousin. You can also use one of my mother's cousin's sons and one of the sons of my mother's cousin. All four options work much better than a son of my mother's cousin's, which is grotesquely unnatural from a native standpoint. That said, I see no justification for deeming it ungrammatical.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×