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Thread: possessives

  1. #1
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    Default possessives

    Which is technically correct (even if not colloquial)? She is a friend of Jack's. OR She is a friend of Jack.

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    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: possessives

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Ella View Post
    Which is technically correct (even if not colloquial)? She is a friend of Jack's. OR She is a friend of Jack.
    Only the second form is not ridiculous.

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    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: possessives

    The second is correct and "preferable" by every "rule" of grammar.

    So, as Svartnik points out, the second is the one you are looking for.

    But really, the first is common enough that it should not be condemned.

    She is a friend of mine -- she is a friend of Jack's. I'm not sure it's ridiculous.

    It does work best for names (words) of one syllable, and the longer the noun phrase after the "of", the rarer the appended "s".

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    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: possessives


  5. #5
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    Default Re: possessives

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    I agree, the overuse of the possessive apostrophe is one of my pet hates!

  6. #6
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: possessives

    I think it's crucial to keep in mind always the intended formality level.

    In writing, obviously, the apostrophe is poor unless in directly quoted speech.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: possessives

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Ella View Post
    Which is technically correct (even if not colloquial)? She is a friend of Jack's. OR She is a friend of Jack.
    As a native English speaker, I would never use a construction like 'a friend of Jack' nor have I ever heard a native English speaker use such a construction.

    a friend of Jack's
    a friend of Jack

  8. #8
    Mival is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: possessives

    I am sure the first version is correct (a friend of Jack`s).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: possessives

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    As a native English speaker, I would never use a construction like 'a friend of Jack' nor have I ever heard a native English speaker use such a construction.

    a friend of Jack's
    a friend of Jack
    I don't know anyone called Jack, so I have never referred to his friends, but I would say, and always have said; 'He is a friend of my father', for example.

  10. #10
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: possessives

    The plain English is "she is Jack's friend". I think that's best form of all for a monosyllable.

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