[Grammar] despite me/my

Oceanlike

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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.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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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.
 

Matthew Wai

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'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.
 

Oceanlike

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'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.
 

Oceanlike

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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.
 

Matthew Wai

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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.
 

PaulMatthews

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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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