Student or Learner
"a friend of mine" or "one of my frineds" ?
(1) I checked The Grammar Book by Mesdames Celce-Murcia and
(2) If (I repeat "IF") I understand them correctly, there IS a difference
between the two sentences:
* Tom is one of my friends. = I have two or more friends. Tom is one of
* Tom is a friend of mine. = Maybe I have only one friend -- Tom. Or maybe
I have more than one friend. It is not clear. It also PROBABLY means
that Tom has more than one friend.
Martha: Tom is one of my friends. (Martha has more than one friend.)
Joe: Really? Well, Tom is a friend of mine, TOO!!! (Maybe -- maybe!!! --
Tom is Joe's only friend / Really? Well, Tom is one of my friends, too.
(Joe has more than one friend.)
***** Thank you *****
(1) Thank you for your kind note.
(2) I have reread my post, and I do not think that it contains any
contention that Tom has only one friend. In fact, I think that my post
mentions that Tom probably has more than one friend.
(3) Nevertheless, I think the most important point is that the authors of
that book write: "Some reference grammars ... erroneously state or imply"
that "Philip is one of our friends" and " Philip is a friend of ours" are
(4) The original poster wanted to know whether there was a difference
between such constructions. I tried to explain that there is. Other
people feel there is not.
***** Thank you *****
P. S. If I say, "Tom is one of my friends," then I have more than one friend.
If I say, "Tom is my friend," then it is possible that I have only Tom as
my sole friend. We do not know.
If I say, "Tom is a friend of mine," it is also unclear as to whether I have
**Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**
I agree with TheParser.
Tom is one of my friends. -> it's absolutely clear that I have more than one friend.
Tom is my friend. -> probably my only friend.
John is my foe. -> probably my only foe.
Tom is a friend of mine. -> a can mean one,but not necessarily seen.
John is a foe of mine. -> the same
Now you probably wonder why I used the "foe sentence".
Let's say know many guys, and you have different relationships to them.
This is Tom, a friend of mine.
That is Marry, a buddy of mine.
John is a foe of mine.
You use "of mine" to emphasize that the person belongs to you (more or less).
This my point of view
First of all,I do not think that the indefinite article A has the same meaning as ANY.Much as I love your flow of thought,I think you were a little too quick to conclude.The article A is sometimes used to mean ONE...A boy.A book etc.However,saying,for example,that I need a book may not necessarily mean ANY book.It does not mean that I would accept just ANYthing.Saying that I need a book means that what I need must fulfill all the reasonable conditions of a book.If it is torn,for example,it is no longer just A BOOK but a TORN BOOK.Therefore,it may be safe to say that anytime A is used,there is always a silent REAL.A school means a (REAL) school with classrooms,teachers and other school essentials-where these essentials are absent,it is not a school,even if it is called one.
ONE OF MY FRIENDS clearly suggests multiplicity.I probably have many friends,JOHN DOE is one of them.A FRIEND OF MINE suggests that,even if I have many of them,only the one in reference is my focus.
My friends, please use the standard font+size!
It hurts to read your posts
P.S. Please don't see my post as an attack!
UsingEnglish are very peaceful forums, and I really hope this will always be the case!