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Thread: 's

  1. #1
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    Default 's

    In the name of the merciful Allah ,
    Hi , I really missed some guys on this forum and look forward to thier participation as before .
    What do " 's " refere to ? in the following sentence "It may be a co-worker of your mother's who is hospitalized for ......".
    Thanks for attention .

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 's

    That "double genetive" thing doesn't seem to make much sense, does it?

    If it's a friend of your mother, or your mother's friend.

    But when it's used with people, we do "double" it up - A friend of my mother's.

    I dont know WHY this happens or where it came from, but you only do it with people. That's a book of my brother's, but not a leg of that table's.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 's

    In the name of the merciful Allah ,
    Hi , I guess the " 's " are here to suugest that the mother has many co-workers , and that one is one of them . therefore, the possessive form doesn't work with things as table , house ,car,etc.....
    I wish if there somebody is capable of grammar to tell us the underlying rule .

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 's

    Quote Originally Posted by the arrow of egypt View Post
    I guess the " 's " [is] here to su[g]gest that the mother has many co-workers, and that one is one of them.
    In a way, yes. The phrase tell us that, but 's expresses much more, notably, grammatical possession. The phrase your mother's modifies the noun co-worker. For example, [1] is another way of saying [2]:

    [1] It may be one of your mother's co-workers who is hospitalized.
    [2] It may be a co-worker [one] of your mother's who is hospitalized.

    Insert the word 'one' in [2] and this phrase one of your mother's post-modifies the noun co-worker. We usually don't find possessive nouns post-modifying their nouns, but in this case we do. The usual way is pre-modification. Like this,

    My mother's co-worker. <pre-modification; the co-worker is known>
    co-worker of my mother's <post-modification; the co-worker is unknown>

    Hope that helps.

    All the best.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 's

    In the name of the merciful Allah ,
    Hi Casiopea , your reply realy helped me ,thanks. but I think there is a question still remaining , raisd by Barb-D . putting " 's " for that purpose doesn't work with unreasonable things ( as table , car , etc....) , why is it limited to people? .

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 's

    There's a really long answers and it has to do with the history of the English language. Give me a day and I'll summarize it for you. In the meantime, the short answer is, possessive constructs have more than one meaning:

    This is a photo of me.
    Meaning: I am in the photo. Whether or not I own the photo and/or took the photo is left unstated. It's information that's not important.

    This is my photo.
    Meaning1: I am in the photo, and I took the photo and/or own the photo.
    Meaning2: I am not in the photo, but I took the photo and/or own the photo.

    This is a photo of mine.
    Meaning: I took and/or own the photo. Whether or not I am in the photo is information left unstated, because it's unessential.

    All the best, and you're most welcome for the help.

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