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    #1

    one of them's wife?

    They all have wives. One of those wives is a nurse.

    Could I say, 'one of them's wife is a nurse'?

    Or should I rather use, 'A wife of one them is a nurse'?

  1. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: one of them's wife?

    Your first choice is correct - at least in colloquial, spoken English.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: one of them's wife?

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    They all have wives. One of those wives is a nurse.

    Could I say, 'one of them's wife is a nurse'?

    Or should I rather use, 'A wife of one them is a nurse'?
    I would not use "them's". You could say "one of their wives is a nurse".

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: one of them's wife?

    The first sounds extremely odd to me. In AusE, we would say, "One of their wives", or "One of the wives".

    PS: Sorry for the 'Dislike" Grumpy. I'd prefer a 'Disagree' button. Which sociolect in UK says such a strange thing?
    Last edited by Raymott; 08-Feb-2014 at 01:03.

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    #5

    Re: one of them's wife?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The firstly sounds extremely odd to me. In AusE, we would say, "One of their wives", or "One of the wives".
    And I suppose in case only one of them had a wife, we would be left with, "The wife of one of them is a nurse".

  4. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: one of them's wife?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The firstly sounds extremely odd to me. In AusE, we would say, "One of their wives", or "One of the wives".

    PS: Sorry for the 'Dislike" Grumpy. I'd prefer a 'Disagree' button. Which sociolect in UK says such a strange thing?
    That's quite all right, Raymott; no offence taken at all.
    I really couldn't specify a particular British sociolect which says such a thing [nb "says"; no-one would write it], but I would confidently assert that its use is pretty widespread in casual day to day conversation throughout UK society. Deep down, we all know that it's indefensible grammatically, but it does the job very neatly. After all, it avoids the implication that one or more of the men has several wives ["One of their wives..."], and it trips off the tongue more fluidly than "The/A wife of one of them....".

    Talking of things that sound odd, I have never seen or heard "firstly" used as you have in this post. Is that common in AusE?
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: one of them's wife?

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    And I suppose in case only one of them had a wife, we would be left with, "The wife of one of them is a nurse".
    Yes, you could say that, or "One of them has a wife who's a nurse."

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: one of them's wife?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    Talking of things that sound odd, I have never seen or heard "firstly" used as you have in this post. Is that common in AusE?
    No, it was a typo. I've fixed it.

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