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    #1

    A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    I was wondering which one was right.
    We say a friend of mine, but don't say a friend of me. Why is it so? I guess we say 'literary works of Mark Twain' not 'literary works of Mark Twain's' / 'a pessimistic view of him', not 'a pessimistic view of his'. Am I correct?
    I will be glad if you could tell me the different usages between them.
    'of + possesive noun' 'of + nominative noun'

    p.s. I am really thankful to you for your help with correcting my English. Your proofreading and advice are of great help to me. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas in advance:)

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    #2

    Re: A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    Quote Originally Posted by zzang418lee View Post
    I was wondering which one was right.
    We say a friend of mine, but don't say a friend of me.1 Why is it so? I guess we say 'literary works of Mark Twain' not 'literary works of Mark Twain's' 2 / 'a pessimistic view of him', not 'a pessimistic view of his'.3 Am I correct?
    I will be glad if you could tell me the different usages between them.
    'of + possesive noun' 'of + nominative noun'

    p.s. I am really thankful to you for your help with correcting my English. Your proofreading and advice are of great help to me. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas in advance:)Likewise.
    Your examples are all right (I mean all of them are right ).

    I know there's a special term for this issue; perhaps another teacher can recall it... Briefly:
    • 1: 'A friend of + <possessive pronoun>' indicates possession or association.
    • 2: 'The <noun> of <noun>' with no S on the possessor; the 'of' doesn't need reinforcing (as it is in 1)
    • 3: 'A <noun> of <object pronoun> - as for 2, the 'of' is all you need.


    Interestingly, 'a pessimistic view of his' would be acceptable, if the he in question had a pessimistic view of something.

    b

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    #3

    Re: A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    I'm sorry Mr.Bob, but I don't get what you said. What do you mean by 1. no S? and 2. reinforcing(or 'of'is all you need). 3. What is the different meanings between 'a pessimistic view of his' and ---of him'? I would really appreciate if you could answer these. Sorry for bothering you....

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    #4

    Re: A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    He is a friend of mine.
    of yours.
    of his.
    of hers.
    of its.

    of ours.
    of yours.
    of theirs.

    Is this OK?

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    #5

    Re: A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    Quote Originally Posted by zzang418lee View Post
    I was wondering which one was right.
    We say a friend of mine, but don't say a friend of me. Why is it so? I guess we say 'literary works of Mark Twain' not 'literary works of Mark Twain's' / 'a pessimistic view of him', not 'a pessimistic view of his'. Am I correct?
    I will be glad if you could tell me the different usages between them.
    'of + possesive noun' 'of + nominative noun'

    p.s. I am really thankful to you for your help with correcting my English. Your proofreading and advice are of great help to me. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas in advance:)

    *** NOT A TEACHER ***


    Zzang,


    You have asked an excellent (and super difficult) question. After

    checking my books, I wish to share some thoughts with you.

    (1) I think that in some languages, people can say:

    Tom is a my friend.

    In English, you cannot say that. So you must say:

    Tom is a friend of mine. (Why can't you use "me"? Well,

    "me" is not a possessive form. You probably remember that it is

    an objective form: Mona loves me; Give the book to me.)

    (2) When you use pronouns, you usually use the possessive

    after "of":

    This is a hat of hers.

    I love this country of ours.

    NOTE: Sometimes there is a difference of meaning between the

    possessive and objective:

    What is your opinion of him? = Tell me how you feel about that person.

    I do not agree with that opinion of his. = His opinion (what he thinks).

    Here is a famous example used by many books:

    Here is a picture of her. (When you look at the picture, you see her face.)

    Here is a picture of hers. (It is one of the pictures that she owns.)


    *****


    When it comes to nouns, you have a choice:

    I am a friend of Tom./ I am a friend of Tom's.

    Both are correct.

    CAREFUL:


    The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (1994) reminds us:


    of + possessive only for

    (a) people (not things). A friend of Tom's; NOT: a friend of the school's.

    (b) a portion (a part) of the person's possessions.

    The friends of John Doe came to his funeral. (All -- not just some --of

    his friends came.) I guess that is why you should say "The literary

    works of Mark Twain," for you are not referring only to a part of

    his possessions. I think that you could say: This is a short story of

    Mark Twain's (a portion of his possessions).

    *****

    This is a matter that confuses us native speakers, too. Just post your

    questions here, and the teachers (and non-teachers) will be delighted

    to answer you.

    P.S. A cultural note about the United States. Some people prefer to

    say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Why? Because

    people in this country believe in different religions.

    Thank you & Happy New Year (It is OK to say "Happy New Year"

    because almost everyone accepts the calendar that we use.)

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    Quote Originally Posted by zzang418lee View Post
    I'm sorry Mr.Bob, but I don't get what you said. What do you mean by 1. no S? and 2. reinforcing(or 'of'is all you need). 3. What is the different meanings between 'a pessimistic view of his' and ---of him'? I would really appreciate if you could answer these. Sorry for bothering you....
    2 There is no final 's', indicating possession. In 1, the possessive is 'reinforced' by 'of'; (I used the quotation marks because there is no added weight as a result of the 'of' - it's just redundant.)

    3 It was unwise of me to introduce this silly joke. Supposing his view is 'The world is going to end tomorrow'; this is 'a pessimistic view of his'.

    b

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    #7

    Re: A friend of his or A friend of him? Thank you:)

    Wow..It was a perfect answer I was looking for..Thanks a lot and Happy holidays:)

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