both Jack’s sisters

akkii

Member
Japanese
I found a phrase of "both Jack's sisters" in a Japanese English dictionary. I wonder if you say this in sentences like the following.

1Both Jack's sisters are married.

2My fife likes both Jack's sisters.

If you say "two of Jack's sisters," it implies that Jack has three or more sisters? Do you say "Jack's both sisters"?
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    "Both Jack's sisters" is not a valid combination.

    "Both of Jack's sisters", like "Jack's two sisters", refers to Jack's sisters of which he only has two.

    "Two of Jack's sisters" does not imply that Jack has three or more, but it does imply he has two or more, and, depending on context, may suggest he has at least three.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "Both Jack's sisters" is not a valid combination.
    It is in BE.
    1Both Jack's sisters are married. :tick:

    2My wife likes both Jack's sisters. :tick:
    OED
    C.1.b (adjective/determiner. In constructions with both followed by determiner or possessive and then a noun. Cf. both of at sense A. 4.
    1847 C. Brontë Jane Eyre I. iv. 42 She boxed both my ears.
    1966 G. Parks Choice of Weapons xviii. 191 Sally took one look and immediately lost both her earrings.
    2011 V. Roth Divergent xxv. 316 Both my shoulders sting from the tattoo needle.

    (Although the last two seem to be completely American...)
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    It is in BE.

    OED
    C.1.b (adjective/determiner. In constructions with both followed by determiner or possessive and then a noun. Cf. both of at sense A. 4.
    1847 C. Brontë Jane Eyre I. iv. 42 She boxed both my ears.
    1966 G. Parks Choice of Weapons xviii. 191 Sally took one look and immediately lost both her earrings.
    2011 V. Roth Divergent xxv. 316 Both my shoulders sting from the tattoo needle.

    (Although the last two seem to be completely American...)
    Those examples sound fine to me, so it seems I was too quick to reject "both Jack's sisters". Rereading #1, I can accept "both Jack's sisters" (a little more easily in 1 than in 2) in a context in which Jack's sisters have already been mentioned.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Both/All [of] the/his apples are sour.
    He's eaten both/all [of] the/his apples.

    It won't run without of for some, many or dozens (and similar variants) where there is a determiner/possessive.
     
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