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  1. joenuts's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Tagalog
      • Home Country:
      • Philippines
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 44
    #1

    "...friend of Matthew's."

    Isn't the apostrophe unnecessary in this phrase?

    She was a friend of Matthew's.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #2

    Re: "...friend of Matthew's."

    It is unnecessary in the sense that you could say: "a friend of Matthew". But it's not wrong, either.

    Note that, to a native speaker, "a friend of Matthew" sounds unnatural; this construction is not normally used with animate beings. We would normally say, "Matthew's friend" or "one of Matthew's friends". Or, indeed, "a friend of Matthew's".


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 671
    #3

    Re: "...friend of Matthew's."

    Quote Originally Posted by joenuts
    Isn't the apostrophe unnecessary in this phrase?
    She was a friend of Matthew's.
    It is absolutely necessary. This is called the double possessive construction.
    Consider the following examples:

    1) "I borrowed a photo of my daughter."
    2) "I borrowed a photo of my daughter's".

    These obviously mean two different things. Number 1 means I borrowed a photo that depicted my daughter. Number 2 means I borrowed a photo that belonged to my daughter. The latter is the double possessive.

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