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I can think of three variants of this sentence, which are intended to have the same meaning. I'm not sure which of these are grammatically correct, and which are just preferable. I'm leaning towards the second, but the third might also be Ok. The first looks a little odd (me followed by my), but I can't say if it is actually wrong. Please educate me - I'm woefully ignorant about grammar.

There is no higher authority that can legally deny me my right to do so.

There is no higher authority that can legally deny me the right to do so.

There is no higher authority that can legally deny my right to do so.

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There is no higher authority that can legally deny me my right to do so.

Your first formulation is the strongest. It is not just some right, anyone's right, it's my right and you're trying to deny it to me. The "me my" doesn't really sound wrong.

There is no higher authority that can legally deny me the right to do so.

The second is a bit weaker. There's a right somewhere or other, but I'm not necessarily claiming it applies to me.

There is no higher authority that can legally deny my right to do so.

This actually has a somewhat different meaning from the other two. While the first two refer to someone actively preventing you from exercising your right, this last only means they are saying you don't have the right in question, not that anyone is actually stopping you.

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  • Thanks Kevin. So the three different sentences are semantically different. I see now that "deny" and "deny me" have different meanings, i.e. disagree vs refuse. Thanks. Nov 10, 2013 at 21:45

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