Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #1

    a woman's portrait/a portrait of a woman

    Hello!

    My Russian grammar book draws a sharp distiction between these two expressions - "a woman's portrait' and 'a portrait of a woman' saying that the first demonstrates posession (some portrait belongs to some woman) and the latter shows that in some picture you can see some woman.

    I've got doubts about the first one. Doesn't 'a woman's portrait' mean both, either posession or graphic representation?

    Thank you very much in advance!

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: a woman's portrait/a portrait of a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello!

    My Russian grammar book draws a sharp distiction between these two expressions - "a woman's portrait' and 'a portrait of a woman' saying that the first demonstrates posession (some portrait belongs to some woman) and the latter shows that in some picture you can see some woman. Your dictionary reflects common usage.

    I've got doubts about the first one. Doesn't 'a woman's portrait' mean both, either posession or graphic representation?I suppose it's possible, but I think it highly unlikely. Incidentally, it could also just about mean: 'a portrait that would appeal to women/a woman'.
    5jj

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #3

    Re: a woman's portrait/a portrait of a woman

    On this one, 5jj, we disagree.

    For me, "a woman's portrait" is just as likely to mean "a portrait depicting a woman."

    Context, as with almost everything else, will make one meaning far more likely than the other.
    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.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: a woman's portrait/a portrait of a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    On this one, 5jj, we disagree. There has to be a first time for everything.

    For me, "a woman's portrait" is just as likely to mean "a portrait depicting a woman."

    Context, as with almost everything else, will make one meaning far more likely than the other. I agree entirely.
    Do you think that's a personal thing, or could it be BrE vs AmE?
    Perhaps we'll have to wait to see whether other speakers of BrE agree with me.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #5

    Re: a woman's portrait/a portrait of a woman

    It could be either one!

    (I'm sure you'll agree that context would indicate the meaning in real life, though, even if the meaning you say is unlikely is intended, right?)
    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. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #6

    Re: a woman's portrait/a portrait of a woman

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It could be either one!

    (I'm sure you'll agree that context would indicate the meaning in real life, though, even if the meaning you say is unlikely is intended, right?) Indeed. Context is King!
    5jj

Similar Threads

  1. The Portrait of a Lady
    By knowledge in forum Text Analysis and Statistics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-Jun-2010, 11:57
  2. portrait versus show and more
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 25-May-2010, 23:47
  3. impression,picture,portrait,description?
    By vaok in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Feb-2009, 11:21
  4. A old woman
    By aous02 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Jul-2008, 12:25
  5. woman please !
    By whl626 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2004, 02:01

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •