a friend of my friend’s or my acquaintance’s acquaintance

sunnyweather

Senior Member
Polish
Hello,

I wonder how to describe someone who is not our friend or acquaintance but a friend of our friend’s or our acquaintance’s acquaintance.

Which option is better? Or maybe both are correct?

She is a friend of my friend’s. (It seems to be just a different way of saying: She is my friend’s friend.)

She is my acquaintance’s acquaintance. (If it is not a friend, but just an acquaintance, does it sound OK?)

Thank you for your help in advance.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm sorry, sunnyweather, I'm finding it hard to explain why I react to your sentences the way I do.

    Here are my reactions:
    She is a friend of John's.:tick:
    She is a friend of my friend’s. :thumbsdown:
    She is a friend of a friend of mine.:tick:
    She is a friend of my friend John's. :thumbsdown::thumbsdown:
    She is my acquaintance’s acquaintance :cross:
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "She is a friend of a friend." is most common in AE. We probably avoid "friend's" because it sounds like "friends".

    "She is an acquaintance of an acquaintance." is not common.

    What is the difference? Most people have less than 15 "friends", so a "friend of a friend" is 1 of 200 (or less) people. But most people have 150 or more "acquantances", so an "acquaintance of an acquaintance" is 1 of 22,000 people. It is not worth mentioning that she is 1 of 22,000 people: that isn't very special. Many towns are smaller than that.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In BE, too, "She is a friend of a friend" is the usual way of saying that. :)

    The "acquaintance" version doesn't really work, probably as doji says, because of the sheer number of people that it might include. It definitely sounds odd to me.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The "acquaintance" version doesn't really work, probably as doji says, because of the sheer number of people that it might include.
    I'm not sure it has anything to do with the meaning.

    I don't think I'd be too bothered by She's an acquaintance of an acquaintance of mine.

    Or She's an acquaintance of an acquaintance.
     
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