Is this sentence acceptable? It sounds correct but looks informal.

Usually, historical nonfiction works are not the most exciting books that one can read, but Jack’s surprisingly rises above the rest.


  • Where's the pronoun, and what do you think makes it "informal"? I see none. The pronoun one is not being used possessively. – tchrist Aug 30 '17 at 2:00
  • You're probably asking about whether Jack's is acceptable here. Certainly 'the one written by Jack' is becoming more formal, but mixes registers incongruously (unless 'Jack' is a surname) and is clumsy. ' ... but that of Peterson ...' is more consistent. // However, informal versions are often far more acceptable than formal (and especially rarefied) versions. Acceptability is a movable feast. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 30 '17 at 7:54
  • Why the down-votes? Just want to know what's wrong. – jo99blackops Aug 30 '17 at 20:56

Just to be clear, possessive pronouns come in two forms. The first are often called possessive adjectives or possessive determiners: my, our, your, his, her, its, and their. They function as adjectives and come before nouns: my house, his shoes, their car. The second forms are called independent or absolute possessives: mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its and theirs. They function as nouns and can stand alone as a subject or object of a verb: mine is on the table, the book is yours. (Note that none of the independent possessives mentioned above use an apostrophe to show possession).

In your case I see no possessive pronoun and nothing "informal" either. It sounds correct and it looks correct.

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