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Could you tell me which is correct to say,

"Today is one of my friends' birthday." or "Today is my friend's birthday."

Thank you for your advice!

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    – tchrist
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 22:29

1 Answer 1

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This depends on your intended meaning, as the examples convey different meanings.

Friends is the plural form of friend.

See here for a dictionary definition.

In the first example you cite, the meaning is you have more than one friend and today one of them has a birthday.

In the second example you are saying that your friend has a birthday (but not necessarily that you have more than one friend).

You sound somewhat more popular when you go with the first as you are conveying two pieces of information and not just one. (1) you have more than one friend, (2) one of them has a birthday today.

However, "Today is my friend's birthday" reads less awkward and is used more frequently idiomatically.

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    Gary, thank you sooo much for your kind response! I'm very glad to have your answer!
    – Mari
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 14:10
  • @Gary, Does the apostrophe (') in "one of my friends' birthday" belong to 'one' (friend) or 'friends'? Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 14:26
  • It belongs to friends, Mahmud, and we are talking about a birthday belonging to one of our 'many' friends. I've corrected birthday to the plural form in the first example, as the forms didn't match originally.
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 14:26
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    Friends' birthday, really makes no sense at all, as you are referring to a singular birthday and many friends, even if all your friends had a birthday on the same day, there would still be multiple birthdays (one belonging to each friend) ; so Friends' birthday just doesn't make sense at all, which is why I edited to 'Friends' birthdays' which I believe matched the intended meaning of the OP more. While 'today is the birthday of one of my friends', does work, i prefer "today is one of my friends' birthdays" as I think it scans better.
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 14:44
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    This is incorrect. " your construction 'friends' birthdays' has the meaning that 'all friends have the same day birthday' "
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 16:00

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