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  1. #1
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Use of possessive pronouns

    Which of the following alternatives is more correct and/or common?

    I showed them my and your pictures
    I showed them mine and your pictures.

    Needless to say I've been doing a Google research all day only to find very confusing examples .
    Your help will be much appreciated, as ever.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    Avoid the problem: I showed them your pictures and mine..

  3. #3
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    Thanks, but the problem still remains. I know it's not a very common turn of phrase, but supposing I wanted to say it in that order, which pronoun would you use?
    I recently read in a British paper 'your and her family'.. That's what set me thinking.... (I would probably have used 'yours' )

  4. #4
    nielskokholm is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    Sorry for being stubborn on behalf of another member, but fivejedjon has a good point.

    His suggestion is simply better English. If I HAD to choose, I would personally go with 1.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    The question is really: why do you want to use that order when it is easier, and more natural to use another?

    Grammatical logic tells us that it must be I showed them my and your pictures, but this does not sound right to many native speakers - don't ask me why. This is the reason, I believe, that some speakers say, "I showed them mine and your pictures." In writing, however, we are aware that this does not look right. This is why you so rarely see it in writing - we have time to think about it, and avoid the problem.

    COCA give no examples of 'my and your' followed by a noun, one of 'my and 'yours' and one of 'mine and your'.

    'I showed them your and my pictures' appears to be more acceptable.

  6. #6
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    Hedwig is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    If you definitely have to go with the first person up front, I suggest:
    I showed them my pictures and yours.

    Anyway, putting yourself second is better manners.

    Not a teacher

  7. #7
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    [QUOTE=fivejedjon;783294]The question is really: why do you want to use that order when it is easier, and more natural to use another?]

    I'm not being deliberately obstinate (or, worse still, obtuse) but when I come across a word or sentence (as I did a few days ago while reading a British newspaper,) that sounds unnatural or incorrect, I like to get to the bottom and ask a native speaker.That's what UsingEnglish.com is all about, isn't it?
    I wouldn't use either alternative and would have definitely opted for 'I showed them your pictures and mine' long before I thought of asking for your valued opinion but I'm still riddled with doubt.... Sorry to be picky.. but I'm just trying to clarify things....

  8. #8
    wace is offline Member
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    'Mine & his parents' trust... how do we attain it back'
    This is just one of a few examples I have just googled up. What's your take on it?

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    I'm not being deliberately obstinate (or, worse still, obtuse) but when I come across a word or sentence (as I did a few days ago while reading a British newspaper,) that sounds unnatural or incorrect, I like to get to the bottom and ask a native speaker.That's what UsingEnglish.com is all about, isn't it? .
    It's certainly one of the things we are here for.

    However, not everything in language can be tied down precisely - even by native speakers who have studied their own language for many years. Some combinations of words, while apparently grammatical, appear to seem somehow wrong to most native speakers. Showing that they have been used on occasion does not prove that they are generally accepted or used.

    My personal opinion is that the 'weak' possessives, my your , her, its, our and their, cannot normally be coordinated, while the 'strong possessives, mine, yours, his, hers, ours and theirs, can:

    */? I showed them my and your picture.
    I showed them mine and yours.

    (I omitted his from the list of weak possessives, because it is identical to the strong form; and its from the list of strong possessives, because it is rarely used).

    On those occasions when people who have not prepared formally what they are going to say are in a position where they are about to produce coordinated weak possessive, they generally make the first one strong. Thus 'my and your picture ' is generally rendered as 'mine and your picture', and even as 'mine and yours picture'.

    Having said that, some combinations appear to be less unacceptable than others. This is my idea of the acceptability:

    my, its and ...
    - generally unacceptable
    your, her, our, their and ... - less unacceptable
    his and ... -
    acceptable, because it could be the strong form

    I stress that this is a personal opinion. We may get something more solid from others.

    ps. I am working my way through this to see if it helps: http://www.ciscl.unisi.it/doc/doc_pu...PHD_Thesis.pdf

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Use of possessive pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Which of the following alternatives is more correct and/or common?

    I showed them my and your pictures
    I showed them mine and your pictures.

    Needless to say I've been doing a Google research all day only to find very confusing examples .

    Your help will be much appreciated, as ever.
    For what it's worth, I think the first is more defensible grammatically. The possessive adjective (my), not the possessive pronoun (mine), is required.
    The sentence is an obvious ellipted version of "I showed them my picture(s) and your picture(s)."
    "Mine pictures" is not right, and I think #2 would be difficult to justify purely on grammatical grounds. But I think that British newspapers (or any newspapers) are rarely called upon to justify their grammar.

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