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  1. #1
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    despite me/my

    I don't know which is correct:

    ---- The treatment did not work for me despite me/my having spent a lot of money on it.

    I think 'my' sounds better. That is the only thing I can say. Grammatically, which is correct and why?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: despite me/my

    You're right, "my" is the right choice.

    I'm not a grammarian, so someone else will have a better answer than mine. But I think it's an issue of proper idiom use, not grammar. Technically, both might be grammatical, but idiomatically, only "my" is used.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. #3
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: despite me/my

    'Having spent' is the focus if 'my', a determiner, is used, while 'me' is the focus if 'me', a pronoun, is used. That could be why 'my' is better.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: despite me/my

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    'Having spent' is the focus if 'my', a determiner, is used, while 'me' is the focus if 'me', a pronoun, is used. That could be why 'my' is better.
    Sorry that I do not understand your explanation. Is there another way of explaining?

    I don't understand what you meant by 'having spent' is the focus if 'my' (which I understand is a determiner) is used. Why is 'having spent' the focus if 'my' is used?

    I also don't understand why 'me' is the focus if 'me', a pronoun, is used.

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: despite me/my

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    You're right, "my" is the right choice. I think it's an issue of proper idiom use, not grammar. Technically, both might be grammatical, but idiomatically, only "my" is used.
    Sorry that I totally do not understand what you meant by 'an issue of proper idiom use, not grammar' and 'but idiomatically, only "my" is used'. I did not know this is considered an idiom.

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: despite me/my

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    Sorry that I do not understand your explanation. Is there another way of explaining?
    'My' is a determiner, so 'having spent' is a perfect gerund in 'my having spent' and is the object of the preposition 'despite'.
    'Me' is a pronoun modified by 'having spent', a perfect participle, so 'me' is the object of 'despite'.
    The object of 'despite' is the focus of the prepositional phrase. Readers would concentrate on the object.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    PaulMatthews is offline Senior Member
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    Re: despite me/my

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    I don't know which is correct:

    ---- The treatment did not work for me despite me/my having spent a lot of money on it.

    I think 'my' sounds better. That is the only thing I can say. Grammatically, which is correct and why?

    Thank you.

    The treatment did not work for me despite [me/my having spent a lot of money on it].

    They are both fine, though the version with "my" is generally considered to be the more formal of the two.

    Grammatically, the structure is the same: the pronoun "me"/"my" is the subject of the bracketed clause and "having spent a lot of money on it" the predicate verb phrase.

    The clause is functioning as complement of the preposition "despite".

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