English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm always confused how to write a "something of something else" in English, especially when plural is involved. For example, what would be the correct way to write the following sentences in English:

There are three phones, each phone is of a different type:

  • Three types of phones?
  • Three phone types?
  • Three types of phone?

Similarly, there are several doctors, and each doctor has a car:

  • The doctors' cars?
  • The cars of the doctors?
share|improve this question
Laurent - the second part of your question doesn't seem related to the first. Also it's been answered elsewhere on this site. e.g What possessive forms are used for mutual 1st person ownership?, and Plural possessive with separate posessions – Matt E. Эллен Mar 11 '12 at 15:45
Isn't this general reference as well? kentlaw.edu/academics/lrw/grinker/LwtaPossessives.htm – jwpat7 Mar 11 '12 at 15:55
up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Three types of phone" ("Three phone types" is also grammatically correct, but less usual).

"The doctors' cars" ("The cars of the doctors" is also grammatically correct, but clumsy).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.