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For example:

"You have a beautiful smile" vs "Your smile is beautiful".

What's the difference between these phrases?

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Please only ask one question at a time. –  Matt Эллен May 3 '12 at 8:08
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The expressions are not the same in your mother tongue, either, or in any language for that matter. ("У тебя красивая улыбка" vs. "Твоя улыбка красива(я)".) Closing as not specific to English. –  RegDwigнt May 3 '12 at 8:41
    
@Reg +1 for mother tongue. –  Kris May 3 '12 at 9:22
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closed as too localized by RegDwigнt May 3 '12 at 8:43

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In (1) I'm talking about you. In (2) I'm talking about your smile.

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And what's the difference? –  Alex May 3 '12 at 9:36
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You may use the form "You have a ..." when say, comparing with others. On the other hand, "Your ... is" can be useful when talking about various aspects of the same person. The context and the subject of the discussion will determine which is preferable. This especially useful in writing because you can show the shift in emphasis and subject. In speech, the emphasis can be achieved by changing the stress from one word to another in the same sentence. –  Kris May 3 '12 at 9:50
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