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  1. #1
    optimistic pessimist is offline Member
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    a fan of John Lennon / a fan of John Lennon's?

    Dear all,

    I realized I haven't leaned a basic rule about the use of possessive " 's".

    In the pais below, I think As are correct.


    A: a friend of mine
    B: a friend of me

    A: a fan of John Lennon's
    B: a fan of John lennon

    A: a fan of the New York Yankees'
    B: a fan of the New York Yankees

    However, I sometimes see expressions such as "I'm a big fan of the Beatles", not the Beatles'.

    Are Bs also fine actually?

    Thank you

    OP
    Last edited by optimistic pessimist; 15-Jun-2010 at 10:31.

  2. #2
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: a fan of John Lennon / a fan of John Lennon's?

    NOT A TEACHER.

    You've asked an interesting question. I'd say that "a friend of mine," "a fan of John Lennon," and "a fan of the New York Yankees" are all correct.

    Let's wait and see what a teacher has to say.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: a fan of John Lennon / a fan of John Lennon's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    NOT A TEACHER.

    You've asked an interesting question. I'd say that "a friend of mine," "a fan of John Lennon," and "a fan of the New York Yankees" are all correct.

    Let's wait and see what a teacher has to say.
    I agree - when the 'of' marks possession (this is an observation, not a rule I'm citing), the possessive is right: you actually have friends, ideas, toothpicks... - so "an idea of his".

    But 'fan of' doesn't refer to possession (at least, not unless 'possession' is the sort of possession that involves devils!)

    I'd welcome some views from other teachers though...

    b

  4. #4
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: a fan of John Lennon / a fan of John Lennon's?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I agree - when the 'of' marks possession (this is an observation, not a rule I'm citing), the possessive is right: you actually have friends, ideas, toothpicks... - so "an idea of his".

    But 'fan of' doesn't refer to possession (at least, not unless 'possession' is the sort of possession that involves devils!)

    I'd welcome some views from other teachers though...

    b
    One would think that because we would say "I'm a fan of his" that "I'm a fan of John Lennon's" would be correct, yet it isn't. Does anyone know why?

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: a fan of John Lennon / a fan of John Lennon's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    One would think that because we would say "I'm a fan of his" that "I'm a fan of John Lennon's" would be correct, yet it isn't. Does anyone know why?

    Thanks.
    Now it's your turn to ask a good question! I hope someone has an answer...

    b

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: a fan of John Lennon / a fan of John Lennon's?

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    Dear all,

    I realized I haven't leaned a basic rule about the use of possessive " 's".

    In the pais below, I think As are correct.


    A: a friend of mine
    B: a friend of me

    A: a fan of John Lennon's
    B: a fan of John lennon

    A: a fan of the New York Yankees'
    B: a fan of the New York Yankees

    However, I sometimes see expressions such as "I'm a big fan of the Beatles", not the Beatles'.

    Are Bs also fine actually?

    Thank you

    OP
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, OP.

    (1) I was fascinated by your question, and I wanted to know the

    answer, too.

    (2) I googled yesterday and today, and finally found a great answer

    (at least in my opinion) written by someone who calls himself "CalifJim,"

    who answers questions at a forum similar to usingenglish. com.

    (3) If I understood him correctly, here is the explanation that I have

    been looking for (some of the following was NOT in his post; HIS words


    will be in quotation marks):

    (a) Good English:

    I am one of John Lennon's fans.
    I am a fan of John Lennon.
    I am a fan of his.

    (NEVER: I am a fan of him. )

    (b) I am a fan of John Lennon's.

    (i) This is NOT "bad" English.

    (ii) It is the "meaning" ["not by rules of grammar"] that "cause

    us to select the version without the 's more often" than we

    choose the version in (b).

    (iii) Mr. CalifJim then says that a sentence such as in (b) "is

    too intimate ... because it implies (or nearly so) that [John Lennon]

    personally knows you and counts you personally among his fans."

    ***** Thank you *****

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