A big fan of yours / A dear friend of hers / etc

ARGMAN

Senior Member
Arabic
Ok, I know there have been many threads over the internet about this, but I never found answers!

"I am a big fan of yours"

I had many, many doubts in mind, those are the one which I grasped only:

1- It is structurally correct, but it sounds odd when "of" is followed by a possessive pronoun, it sounds like he is saying "I am one of your fans, and you own (Possess) me". It is like missing something, like saying "I am big fan of something that belongs to you"!
2- Can we apply it anywhere, like a rule? Like can I say "I am a sweet friend of theirs"? (Structure then would be "(pronoun) (verb to be) (a/an) (noun) of (possessive pronoun)" right?)
3- Can we apply it on nouns? Like saying "I am big fan of Lionel Messi's" or "I am a friend of the queen's"?
4- Am I wrong when I say "I am a big fan of you"? If it is wrong, why?
 
  • Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Marhaban, ARG.

    You might think of "of" in these cases as another way of expressing the notion "among".
    The sentence "I am a fan of yours" is the result of a deletion:
    "I am a fan among your fans" —> "I am a fan among yourS Ø" —> "I am a fan OF yourS Ø".

    You can apply it to proper nouns.

    "*I am a big fan of you" is wrong because you can't say "*I am a big fan among you".

    GS :)

    Mind you, ARG: this is the short version. :)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "I am a big fan of yours."
    It's correct, because this is the way we say it. Similarly, the following are correct:
    He's a big fan of hers.
    She's a big fan of mine.
    You're a big fan of his.

    And yes, "I'm a friend of theirs" (or "of hers") is also correct.
     

    ARGMAN

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    It's correct, because this is the way we say it. Similarly, the following are correct:
    He's a big fan of hers.
    She's a big fan of mine.
    You're a big fan of his.

    And yes, "I'm a friend of theirs" (or "of hers") is also correct.
    Just now, I passed through an explanatory paragraph from FreeDicionary, and I found it very useful:

    1. possession and other relationships:

    Of is used for showing possession. It can also be used to show other types of relationship between people or things.
    It was the home of a schoolteacher.
    She was the sister of the Duke of Urbino.
    At the top of the hill Jackson paused for breath.
    You can use of in front of a possessive pronoun such as mine, his, or theirs. You do this to show that someone is one of a group of people or things connected with a particular person. For example, instead of saying 'He is one of my friends', you can say 'He is a friend of mine.'
    He's a very good friend of ours.
    I talked to a colleague of yours recently.
    You can use of like this in front of other possessives.
    He's a friend of my mother's.
    She was a cousin of Lorna Cook's.
    The 's is sometimes omitted, especially in American English.
    He's a close friend of the President.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, ARGMAN.

    I must confess that I belong to that sinister sect of grammarians who think that the natural state for natural languages is one form = one meaning.
    In other words the very idea of complete synonymity smells a tad fishy to me.
    To give you an example, think of a grandfather complaining "I never thought a grandson of mine would be wearing an earring".
    I suspect there are good reasons to infer that the grandfather has only one grandson.
    If he had said "I never thought one of my grandsons would be wearing an earring", the listener might be induced to infer the existence of a plurality of grandsons.

    What do the native speakers think?

    GS :)
     
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