The phrase "Dear My Love" is found in this page made by keepcalm-o-matic in the UK.

I would assume all English teachers say that possessive adjective always comes first, as in "my dear friend" and "my private idaho", and we never say "dear my friend". So the correct word order is possessive adjective, attributive adjective, and noun. Then could you tell me why in the UK saying "dear my love" is possible?

I have learned that, in a non-English speaking country, Japan for example, word order is sometimes off and people there usually accept both "my dear friend" and "dear my friend" as correct English. "Dear my friend" in particular is acceptable in their English and I suspect that's because "dear" in this phrase is not an adjective but an adverb to mean "with love and respect" (Merriam-Webster), or they regard "dear" as a preposition and mistake "dear my friend" for "to my friend". Is this type of misunderstanding also the case in "dear my love" by a UK designer? Or is there any other explanation?

  • Translation by a bad translation program?
    – rogermue
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:12
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    The greeting card is classed as being 1314th, which is somewhat indicative of its popularity. Could you find a more reliable and authoritative source? Otherwise I'm inclined to say that "Dear, My love" is not idiomatic and unusual, to say the least.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:28
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    ... And the commaless version more so. My (and other determiners) always precedes attributive adjectives in standard English (standard meaning acceptable to 99+ % of native speakers). Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:42
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    @EdwinAshworth apparently "Dear My Love" is the title of a Japanese film, the opening lyrics to a song by Evanescence, an American rock band, and the title of a song by Taylor Swift.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 9:04
  • @Mari-Lou The Evanescence song contains 'I have dreamt of a place for you and I' and Swift's song plays with 'my dear love' and 'dear my lover'. And the original title of the film "60-sai no rabu retâ" doesn't seem to have been translated faithfully. I'm still going to raise your 'not idiomatic and unusual, to say the least'. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


in that context, My Love is considered as one noun representing a subject..
Thus, Dear [My Love] is used properly here..

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    I see no evidence to support this claim. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:37
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    I am sorry, but I think what I mention is not that controversial.. if you feel I am wrong please correct me.. and if you feel you have improvement to edit my post, please do so.. please also help me to help others.. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:49
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    'In that context' means, I assume, as used in OP's [first] link. rogermue, Mari-Lou A and I all judge it to be at best 'non-idiomatic and unusual', 'a bad translation'. I've certainly come to this conclusion after checking the original. Treating 'My Love' as a proper noun here is unwarranted. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 8:05
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    +1 because this is exactly how the wording is used on the card, and in the song "Anything" (by Evanescence), mentioned by @Mari-LouA in a comment. My love is basically an appellation or name, and the word "dear" is used before it just as it is used before other appellations or names, such as John or Jane. Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 1:36
  • I thank you for your answer. This question is resolved in my newer question. english.stackexchange.com/questions/422361/…
    – wordsalad
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 3:28

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