Both of and from are possible, with different meanings, of course.

  • ....a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories of Nature, about the primeval forest.

    This means that the stories are about Nature, they speak of Nature as a whole or they may speak of different happenings, a boa constrictor eating a prey, the birth of baby dolphin, the first flight of a sparrow.....and they are seen as manifestations of Mother Nature.

  • ....a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature, about the primeval forest.

    This means that the stories are about the different things that may happen in Nature: a story about a boa constrictor eating a prey, a story about the slow growth of a little pine tree, the story of a salmon that swims against the drift in a river, the story of the birth of a baby owl.....these are all pictures taken from Nature.

Although one of my friends has already explained them, in fact I cannot yet understand this logic or argument well.

Would anyone possibly readily explain the difference between from and of, considering the bold parts?

closed as too broad by Dan Bron, David, Jim, Scott, Attack Helicopter Dec 26 '17 at 16:49

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    With this sort of question, you should add your friend's explanation and what you found from your own independent research in dictionaries and the like, and then ask your question. – Andrew Leach Jul 29 '14 at 22:00

The word from typically describes a place of origin, while of is more often used to relate a part to a whole or a child to a parent (either physical or abstract). In many cases these are completely interchangeable. The best way I know of to explain this is by rephrasing "X is from Y" as "Y has X". If the second phrase makes sense, then use from, otherwise if it makes more since to say "X is about Y", then use of.

In your case, either from or of can be appropriate. It really just depends on what you'd like to emphasize. Is it more important to highlight the origin of the stories (thus granting some ownership of the True Stories to Nature herself), or are you simply categorizing these True Stories to be about or related to Nature? If the former, use from; else, use of.


Change the noun, nature, to that of crime and you'll see the difference in meaning more clearly.

The phrase A true story of crime tells us about an episode involving a crime whereas A story from crime sounds as if crime is personified, we don't normally personify crime and as a result its meaning sounds peculiar. Nature on the other hand is interpreted as being a living organism, as being alive and real, hence it is often used in a metaphorical sense. The resulting expression, mother nature, is a typical example of anthropomorphism. Hence whenever we talk about nature being cruel or the necessity to respect nature, it is as if nature were a person.

Consequently, the phrase True Stories from (Mother) Nature are stories witnessed by Nature, the stories come from "her". True Stories of Nature are stories about nature; in this case "the primeval forest".

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