I was typing in a description and I got the following problem, and I don't know which of the sentences is the right one.

  • The angel's image, now appears correctly.
  • The angel's image now appears correctly.
  • The image of the angel now appears correctly.

The phrase is to justify a change/update in an application, where an image of an angel that was not present having been correctly updated.

Sorry if it's too silly of a question. But I'm basing my question in the FAQ

  • Usage, word choice, and grammar

But in this case, is a small phrase. =D


The comma in the first version is incorrect.

As a general principle, "the angel's image" and "the image of the angel" are equivalent, and using either form is simply a matter of stylistic choice.

But in this particular case there may be more justification for using "the angel's image". If any distinction can be made, the possessive form places more emphasis on "angel" (by placing it before, rather than after, the word "image"). If I'd been filing the original bug report, I'd probably have considered it to be a problem with the angel, rather than with the image.

And if I were filing the bug resolution, I'd just write [the] angel image [is] now displayed correctly.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'm taking this answer as the right one, because seems to be the most complete in my opinion. But if you are looking for an answer as good as this one, take a look at Nik's answer – Michel Ayres May 10 '12 at 11:48

The third sentence is best.

The comma in the first sentence is incorrect. Given your intended meaning, 'image of the angel' is more appropriate than 'the angel's image'.

So use: The image of the angel now appears correctly.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1 although, aside from the comma splice, the first sentence is also technically correct, even if it does not sound that great. – nico May 10 '12 at 7:13

The image is of the angel not possessed by the angel. For this reason I would avoid the possessive apostrophe here. As well as the image of the angel you could also write the angel image or even simply the angel, since it is obvious you are talking about the image and not the real thing!

| improve this answer | |

Image being the key word, appears first and its modifier follows.

Image of angel now appears correctly.

You may use the definite article the before image depending on context; but not before angel. You are probably not talking about a particular angel among several present here.

| improve this answer | |
  • I disagree on your last statement. If he is saying that "now" it appears correctly it means that before it was not. You are speaking of the same angel as before, so you will definitely put "the" in front of angel. – nico May 10 '12 at 7:11
  • "Same image", not "same angel" -- that's why I said there is probably not more than one angel around, no question of "the angel." – Kris May 10 '12 at 7:43
  • 3
    I don't agree with any of that "logic" about dispensing with either or both definite articles. Grammatically speaking, both are "required". It's just that OP's particular context would commonly use cut-down "bullet point/newspaper headline" syntax, and omit both. – FumbleFingers May 10 '12 at 12:24
  • There's no dispensing with, no economising on -- the presence or absence of the definite article does make a signficant semantic difference, which I'm sure you are aware of. – Kris May 10 '12 at 12:57

Your Answer

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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.