A married couple of my acquaintance

< Previous | Next >

Geralt of Rivia

"And to forestall the next set of questions, Anna and Kendra, ages seven and five, by way of seminal extraction and in vitro fertilization, the mothers are a married couple of my acquaintance, one of whom was a law school classmate, yes, the children know who I am and yes, I am an active part of their life."

Lock In - John Scalzi

Does the red part mean that the mothers are married to my friends or the mothers are my friends who also happen to be married to different people? Or maybe they are homosexual and married to each other. I'm totally lost.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The syntax of the sentence is weird. But it's pretty clear that these are two women married to each other, possibly each of them having given birth to one of the children – although that's not entirely clear.

    And of course the man is the children's biological father.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Two people who are both married aren't a married couple unless they're married to each other. By contrast, 'The two mothers are married' is ambiguous or uncommitted about who they're married to.


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I agree with the comments above, but will further point out that the phrase "a married couple of my acquaintance" is not idiomatic - at least, not in contemporary, informal English. It's meaning is clear: "a married couple that I am acquainted with" or more naturally, "a married couple that I know."

    I suppose this dialog could have been spoken as part of a deposition, or in some similar context, where formal English is preferred. Although, in that case, you might also expect that the speaker would speak in complete sentences.
    < Previous | Next >