2

I'd like to know why sometimes we use 'of' in front of the possessive pronoun and sometimes we dont, like in these questions:

"Is this pen hers or yours?"

"Where is that restaurant of yours?"

  • I don't know how to "explain" any "rule" involved here, but I think the presence of an article may be relevant. It may be a little awkward, but syntactically there's nothing wrong with Is this a pen of hers or [of] yours? Which would be even more awkward with the definite article the instead of a, but I'd still say it's syntactically "valid" - so maybe I should accept of with this or that as well, but I really don't like those versions. – FumbleFingers Aug 11 at 12:33
  • (Might it just be that plain yours is a "noun", whereas of yours is a "determiner"?) – FumbleFingers Aug 11 at 12:36
  • Note that Where is that restaurant yours? is still fine—although it means something quite different from Where is that restaurant of yours? Similarly, of could be added to the first sentence. It would be less usual, but it would also change the meaning of the sentence in a converse manner. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Aug 11 at 15:30
  • "That restaurant of yours" implies "the one you have been talking about". Similarly, "I've found that pen of yours" would probably refer to one that 'you' had been searching for. – Kate Bunting Aug 12 at 8:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.