48 votes

Why is "our today's meeting" wrong?

This seems baffling, but what is special about today's? I think it comes down to this: We cannot use two genitives to modify a single noun. At least not outside Indian English. Today's is a "...
oerkelens's user avatar
  • 36.1k
28 votes
Accepted

Why is "our today's meeting" wrong?

Usually, a noun phrase in English must have exactly one determiner: you can say "I drove the car" or "I drove my car", but not "I drove car" or "I drove the my car". Certain nouns (such as plural ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
  • 3,113
13 votes

Why is "our today's meeting" wrong?

I think I have an example in which the phrase "our today's meeting" might be uttered by a speaker of English, at least in informal conversation. Alice and Bob are in an office in New York, USA, ...
David K's user avatar
  • 2,819
7 votes

A friend of John's / John's friend

Short answer You could say either. However, it would perhaps be more natural to say a friend of John's, as the Original Poster suggests. The reason for this is that the speaker will probably want to ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
5 votes

Why is "our today's meeting" wrong?

I agree with oerkelens' answer, but I am surprised no one has mentioned that the expected form, at least in British English, would normally be "our meeting today". For example, "We welcome Professor ...
philgardner's user avatar
3 votes

"Of his" or "of him" in this situation?

Yes, it is correct. It is a case of oblique genitive. You will find plenty of sites calling it double genitive or double possessive, like Wikipedia: The genitive can be combined with an of ...
fev's user avatar
  • 26.3k
3 votes
Accepted

Possessive of a possessive

Alzheimer's is correct. There is no double possessive in the English language. You can chain possessives (as in your example St Paul's Cathedral's arches). You can also shorten noun phrases (Alzheimer'...
Jamie Clinton's user avatar
3 votes

Why is "our today's meeting" wrong?

As an alumnus of the Haberdashers' Aske's School, I say with some certainty, there is no rule that you can't have two possessives before a noun. But why is this OK and "our today's meeting" not? In ...
Joe P's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes

Why is "our today's meeting" wrong?

Simple: you don't own today. The normal phrase is "our meeting today". However, note: "All our yesterdays" is legitimate, but poetical and I can imagine a similarly flowery use of "our today" or ...
Nagora's user avatar
  • 440
2 votes

The house of a friend of Bob’s

There are two ways that English indicates the possessive -- with the preposition "of" (A friend of Bob) or with "'s" (Bob's friend). The latter is called the Saxon genitive, because that's the way ...
deadrat's user avatar
  • 44.3k
2 votes

Alternative for double genitive in "the author's master's thesis"

Just use your surname and the date of your thesis as you would for any other reference. Let's pretend for a moment that your surname is Sebastian and you submitted your master's dissertation in 2010. ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
2 votes

Double possession dilemma: should I say “your” or “yours”?

When using them separately, we'd use- Your grant... John Wichel Foundation's grant... When using them together, combining them with an 'and'- ...your and John Wichel Foundation's grants... ... ...
kappeezy's user avatar
2 votes

Why is "Two friends of my parents' have just left..." grammatically correct?

It is questionable whether letter a) should be correct. I would argue that the answer is, in fact, c) Two friends of my parents The possessive apostrophe in parents' which answer a) contains, is ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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2 votes

When and why we use double-genitive with respect to the word 'of'?

Regarding the 'double genitive', here is what the 'Practical English Usage' by Michael Swan says:
mahmud k pukayoor's user avatar
2 votes

Double Posessive Usage

Leaving out the possessive actually changes the meaning. You might think of each possessive as marking a successive inheritance. The father is Dan's. The breath is Dan's father's. In the example of ...
Kay V's user avatar
  • 380
2 votes

Use of the possessive

The preposition of already denotes possession or association, so it is not necessary to write Conor's as well. "I am a friend of Conor and his family" would be correct.
Richard Beasley's user avatar
2 votes

Are both these sentences grammatically correct?

Both are grammatically correct. In (1) try substituting a proper noun for 'him'. For example we might say, "I am not a fan of Tolstoy". This is surely fine, so going back to "him" (the personal ...
Philip Wood's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Are phrases of the form "A <possession> of <name>'s" grammatically correct?

Your sentence is much better off as you started, though I would personally prefer not to separate the subject from the verb by too many words: David, using a metaphor of Saul's, said... or Using a ...
fev's user avatar
  • 26.3k
1 vote

NPs containing double genitives: "this harassment of her of yours"

I'll simply cite the King of Spain's daughter's doll's dress as evidence that "possession" (whether conveyed using the Saxon genitive 's or the preposition of) can be used recursively to any ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
1 vote

Apostrophe 's, "of", or nothing to show possession/ownership?

why do we sometimes show possession/ownership using 's or of, why sometime not? Neither the Saxon genitive (the family's name), nor "of" (the name of the family), nor noun1 + noun2 (the ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 38k
1 vote

Apostrophe 's, "of", or nothing to show possession/ownership?

As your suggested alternatives indicate, there are any number of ways of showing ownership, both specifically and generally by simply subtracting an 's or adding a couple of words (as in "the dog'...
rhetorician's user avatar
  • 19.2k
1 vote

When and why we use double-genitive with respect to the word 'of'?

There was one of your examples that made the difference clear to me (split by me to better facilitate my explanations below): This is a picture of Bill This is a picture of Bill’s In the first case, ...
Canned Man's user avatar
1 vote

Double possession dilemma: should I say “your” or “yours”?

Kapeezy's is the logical answer, but we don't always speak logically. My sense is that yours and the John Wichel Foundation’s grant is not that uncommon. I had a look at the iWeb corpus, searching ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 76.1k
1 vote

The use of "that of" and an apostrophe

Your sentence should be "Julia's experience is similar to that of Robert." If you were to say eg. "Julia's experience is similar to that of Robert's brother." then you would need the possessive ...
uklancs's user avatar
  • 49
1 vote

Alternative for double genitive in "the author's master's thesis"

Dance around it. It may be a good idea for this author to quote his master's thesis at this point.
Ricky's user avatar
  • 19.9k
1 vote
Accepted

The house of a friend of Bob’s

"a friend of Bob's" means "one of Bob's friends". Therefore, you can say "I've been to Tom's, one of Bob's friends. /or/ I've been to Tom's, a friend of Bob's. You can omit the word "house". ...
Centaurus's user avatar
  • 49.5k
1 vote

Plural possessive with separate possessions

We can say "one of the families' houses" to refer to one of the houses owned by one or more of the families. In this context, "one of" applies to "the families' houses" You actually could have ...
Cyndy's user avatar
  • 11

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