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Is there a good way to indicate that something belongs to you and another person when you want to mention the other person by name?

As an example, suppose some friends ask you "Where's the party at?" and the party is at the house that you and Bob share. Then

The party's at our house.

would work just fine. But what if some of the friends you wanted to invite didn't know that you lived with Bob, and you wanted to make sure they understand that Bob will be hosting the party with you?

In this situation, I've often found myself wanting to say something like

The party's at my and Bob's house.

This sounds clunky at best, but the obvious alternatives all seem slightly inappropriate to me. For example, you might propose saying

The party's at the house that belongs to Bob and me.

but I would say that seems a little stilted. Perhaps something like

You know where Bob and I live? That's where the party's at.

could work, but it certainly isn't very economical. The best option is probably something like

Bob and I will be hosting the party at our house.

but that sounds a little formal if someone just asks "Where's the party at?"

I know this situation sounds contrived, but I do run into it in various forms from time to time. I think part of the reason it sticks out to me is that there wouldn't be a problem if it was just your house or just Bob's house. You could easily say

The party's at Bob's house

or

The party's at my house

In fact, those are the responses I'd expect to "Where's the party at?" in everyday speech. But

The party's at my and Bob's house

sounds terrible.

What would you say in this situation?

  • 1
    You could say "The party is at my place (or house), which I share with Bob." – Bhavika Khare Sep 14 at 0:25
  • 1
    Or slightly more informal: The party's at the place I share with Bob. – aparente001 Sep 14 at 2:02
  • That sounds alright. I realize now that my actual question comes at the end of the post. Namely, why do "the party's at Bob's house" and "the party's at my house" sound so much better than "the party's at my and Bob's house"? – Charles Hudgins Sep 14 at 2:26
  • But if you care to, you could post that comment as an answer and I would accept it. – Charles Hudgins Sep 14 at 2:27
3

"The party's at Bob's and my house."

Despite however "clunky" you think this sounds, this way is correct. There's nothing ungrammatical with this.

See the following references:

https://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/possessive-pronoun.html (scroll down to "Compound Possessive Nouns and Pronouns")

https://ontariotraining.net/grammar-tip-possession-with-compound-nouns-and-pronouns/

https://erinwrightwriting.com/compound-possessive-pronoun-strings-or-who-owns-that-dog-anyway/

  • Mine and Bob's house would probably work here, too. No? – David M Sep 14 at 5:21
  • No, it wouldn't. You can properly say "The house is Bob's and mine," but you can't properly say "That's mine and Bob's house" any more than you can say "That's mine house." That's because "my" is a possessive adjective, one that modifies "house," whereas "mine" is a possessive pronoun. Also, notice that it's customary to put the possessive adjective(s) or pronoun(s) after the noun(s). So, you would put "Bob" first and "my" second. I believe the second source above addresses this. – Benjamin Harman Sep 14 at 5:25
  • By the way, "mine" as a possessive adjective does exist in English, but only in Elizabethan English (e.g., the English of Shakespeare). In Elizabethan English "mine" appears in place of "my" whenever the ensuing word begins with a vowel sound, exactly like how we use "an" instead of "a" whenever the ensuing word begins with a vowel sound (e.g., "an eye" and "mine eye"; "a nose" and "my nose"). Of course, this usage is archaic. Using "mine" as a possessive adjective hasn't been idiomatic for hundreds of years, though we do still sing, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord..." – Benjamin Harman Sep 14 at 5:32
  • I suppose I took for granted that something like "Bob's and my house" sounds bad. Your reference clearly contains something like it as an example, so I'm convinced of its grammaticality, but it still sounds subjectively bad. Is it just me, or do others think this sounds strange? If I'm alone, fair enough, but if not, I do wonder why. Perhaps it's just an uncommon phrasing, so that it really sounds unfamiliar, and not bad per se? – Charles Hudgins Sep 14 at 6:34
  • See also the classic answer to this question (which is in fact a duplicate): english.stackexchange.com/questions/4226/… – Xanne Sep 14 at 7:04

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