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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default my brother's friend who

    Are these sentences correct:
    1-My sister has five friends. I wrote a letter to the friend of my sister's who is in England.
    2-My sister has five friends. I wrote a letter to my sister's friend who is in England.

    3-My house has five doors. I oiled the door of my house's that creaked.
    4-My house has five doors. I oiled my house's door that creaked.

    If I understand correctly "the door of my house that creaked" cannot be used since it would give the impression that my house creaked.


    Gratefully,Navi.

  2. #2
    Jenniferhu's Avatar
    Jenniferhu is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Strictly, #2 and #4 are more grammatically correct.

    BTW, we can say a friend of mine, a friend of his, two friends of hers, but not a friend of my sister's, a door of my house's etc. No 's should be used in these circumstances.

    And the sentences would read better if revised as:
    2-My sister has five friends. I wrote a letter to one of them who is in England.
    4-My house has five doors. I oiled one of them that creaked.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniferhu View Post
    Strictly, #2 and #4 are more grammatically correct.

    #4 is not acceptable.

    BTW, we can say a friend of mine, a friend of his, two friends of hers, but not a friend of my sister's,
    Yes we can; it is perfectly acceptable.
    5

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Are these sentences correct:
    1-My sister has five friends. I wrote a letter to the friend of my sister's who is in England.
    2-My sister has five friends. I wrote a letter to my sister's friend who is in England.
    Both of these are fine.
    "the friend of my sister's" is an example of the double genitive. I had dinner last night with an old friend of my brother's. That man is a good friend of my father's. It means the same as "with one of my brother's old friends" or "one of my father's good friends."


    3-My house has five doors. I oiled the door of my house's that creaked.
    4-My house has five doors. I oiled my house's door that creaked.
    We don't (usually) use the double genitive for inanimate objects. Using the simple possessive for inanimate objects is okay in some situations (although people in their early years of learning English may be told to never do this.) In his case, #3 is wrong because of the double genitive. #4 is not at all natural.

    If I understand correctly "the door of my house that creaked" cannot be used since it would give the impression that my house creaked.

    This is not a correct understanding. We have real-world knowledge. It is unlikely that you have so many houses that you need to tell me which house you mean by specifying "the house that creaked." It is even more unlikely that among your many houses, each has only one door. Finally, we know that doors creak and that that can be fixed with oil, rather than houses. I think they are more likely to squeak than creak.

    However, I'd probably write: I finally got around to oiling that squeaking door in my house. I oiled the door in my house that had been squeaking. I oiled the door in my house that squeaked.

    Gratefully,Navi.
    Jennifer, I know you mean to help, but it would be best if you waited for an experienced teacher or native speaker to answer instead of giving firm opinions about what is right and what is wrong.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Thank you so much 5jj and Barb_D.

    I would like to second what Barb_D said. His reply to my question is to the point, precise and flawless. I appreciate the Jennifer wants to help, but her replies might end up misleading not only me, but others as well. I hope David, who has liked Jennifer's post, will not take her view for granted and will come back and check out the rest of the thread.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    5jj and Barb, sorry for the inconveniences I've caused. I know my English is far from qualifying me to help anyone who needs a reliable response from native English speakers like you. In fact, I appreciate that because I'm also the one who hate incorrect and misleading answers. Your excellent work is the very reason that this forum has been running for decades helping a multitude of students and learners from all over the world.

    Reliability is one major principle I am trying to follow in my work as a translator, and I was trying to follow it even in here by consulting dictionaries and Google before I responded to a post. But alas, how often I go off the track, I have no idea! I have been learning English for ten years now, but still there is so much I don't know, so much I've got to learn, that I just feel like a beginner at times. I understand learning is not something you can achieve behind a closed door. You've got to surround yourself with like-minded people who are zealous English learners, with someone who can guide you, with friends who want to help you and vice versa. That's how I experienced years ago in a Chinese English-learning forum before it was shut down in 2005. I learned English very fast back then. That's why I decided to come here and join you all after several years of learning it alone. It was not so much learning as grabbing at something so vague and useless and elusive that all I could do was read, read, read. Visiting this forum is a nice change, meeting you all and asking questions and learning things that I cannot really learn by reading news, magazines, novels. More importantly, using what I've learned in ways that I think are helpful to others.

    As you are probably aware by now, I do not learn your language for exams. Never once in my life did I take one. I learn it for fun and livelihood. But now I know this forum is a place where learners seek more expert help than free-style discussions. That’s good actually, and I’ll change my “strategy” accordingly.

    I wanted to say these to our hard-working moderator 5jj when I got his "warning" this morning, but I thought it'd be better I wrote it here, both as an apology to you and the threadstarter and as a self-defense to possible "house arrest" declared by dear 5jj. If you think this post is inappropriate here, you may move it or remove it when it served its purpose.

    Jenny
    Last edited by Jenniferhu; 30-Apr-2012 at 05:58.

  7. #7
    Finicky is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniferhu View Post
    5jj and Barb, sorry for the inconveniences I've caused. I know my English is far from being qualified


    qualified adjective (LIMITED) - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniferhu View Post
    to help anyone who needs a reliable response from well-learned native English speakers like you.

    trained

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenniferhu View Post
    I understand learning is not something you can achieve behind a closed door

    'Achieve learning' is not a collocation.


    I have deleted a couple of sentences here. Please try to avoid personal comments. Thank you. 5jj
    Last edited by 5jj; 30-Apr-2012 at 07:32. Reason: inappropriate comments deleted.

  8. #8
    Jenniferhu's Avatar
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Finicky, thanks for your "inexpert" advice! "Well-learned" does look inappropriate here, and "trained" is too vague, so I cut it out.

    You probably cannot collocate "achieve" with "learning", but that's "something" it was supposed to go with!

    And I feel like an English guru at other times, of course! Like now.

    So nice to read your reply.

  9. #9
    Finicky is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    And I feel like an English guru at other times,


    I would not like to interfere with your veritable feelings any longer.




  10. #10
    Jenniferhu's Avatar
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    Default Re: my brother's friend who

    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post


    I would not like to interfere with your veritable feelings any longer.



    You knew I was joking, right? It's just that sometimes I feel very confident with my English and sometimes ashamed of it. Okay, let's stop talking like this or we both will add unnecessary workload to 5jj.

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