Brenda's car/ the car of brenda

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by NYCguy43, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. NYCguy43

    NYCguy43 New Member

    Hola tengo una duda en ingles con los sustantivos posesivos, es lo mismo decir :

    Brenda's car
    The car of brenda

    Mi pregunta es que si la forma "'s" cumple la misma funcion o significa lo mismo que usar "of" para indicar poseción, o sea que es lo mismo decir brenda's car o the car of brenda.

    Muchas Gracias, Espero haber explicado bien mi duda. :)
  2. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    "The car of Brenda" no se diría. Es "the car belonging to Brenda" o "Brenda's car."
  3. A mí me enseñaron que los dos indican la misma posesión, pero el segundo no se usa tanto. Espero que te sirva. :)
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England

    "The car of X" is rare but there are exceptions:

    A. Idioms
    the car of the year/decade/century
    the car of the future
    the car of my dreams

    B. It is sometimes used with a person's name especially by journalists, e.g.

    Palestinians extinguish fire from the car of Ahmaed Jabari, head of the military wing of the Hamas movement ...

    In that last example I think you can see that using Ahmaed Jabari's car would make nonsense of the sentence.
  5. Perfectly explained :)
  6. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    The apostrophe-s form is easier to use if the person, the possessor, has already been introduced in the discourse.
    In the news report, Ahmaed Jabari is being introduced as someone new to the reader. (It's a little unusual to introduce a character in the role of possessor.)
    If his (full) name had appeared earlier in the report, then they probably would say "...from Jabari's car".
  7. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    Both do indeed indicate possession and function the same grammatically.

    The apostrophe + s puts the noun into the genitive case. As noted above, the "of" construction is less common, particularly in everyday speech and informal writing and particularly when the "of" would follow a person to indicate a person's possession of a thing. But the apostrophe + s construction can be, and is used, to indicate the relationship of one person to another person. "He is the son of Brenda" and "He is Brenda's son" both sound fine, but the trouble it takes to say the extra words for the first version means that the first version will be less commonly said.

    The "of" construction is quite common when indicating the relationship of one thing to another thing. In formal writing, the "of" construction has long been preferred for anything other than a person's possession, but that preference is starting to weaken. For example, in opinions written by appellate and supreme court judges, it used to be rare to see "the agreement's first paragraph" instead of "the first paragraph of the agreement." Now it's no so rare, but I would say that in formal writing the "of" construction is still preferred for anything other than a person's possession.

    It's also common in book titles and such. There was a movie "The Prisoner of Zenda" (actually two, it was remade). It would sound less dramatic if the title were "Zenda's Prisoner." Similarly, books of the Bible often use the "of" construction. The Book of John, for instance.
  8. kalamazoo Senior Member

    US, English
    In the "Jabari's car" sentence, you really can't use the "Jabari's car, head of the military wing..." because that would be saying that the car itself is the head of the military wing. When you have a following clause that describes the owner, you pretty much have to say "the car of ..." [my friend who arrived yesterday, the guy who lives down the street...]. However otherwise, you would almost always prefer 'Brenda's car' to 'the car of Brenda.'
  9. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    Exactly :thumbsup:

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