'Europe's' or 'of Europe', etc.

annjuks

Member
Latvian
hi,
can you help me to understand the main differene between the following and alike examples:
-Europe's countries
or
-countries of Europe
-river's tributaries
or
-tributaries of the river

many thanks
 
  • temple09

    Senior Member
    English - British
    When it comes to grammar, they mean exactly the same thing, and are totally interchangeable.
    Although the genetive of Europe is "European"
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If you click on each of these phrases you will see how they are used in current media. You will also see that they are used in different contexts. It would be strange, in most examples, to change to another form. Not wrong, but strange.

    European countries
    > In a study of 13 European countries,...
    > In a study of 13 of Europe's countries,...
    > In a study of 13 countries of Europe,...

    Only the first sounds right.

    Europe's countries
    (Note that there is only one such example, compared with thousands for "European countries".)
    > That is, unless we are confronted with new shock waves on the financial market or new issues among those of Europe’s countries that are currently rocked by sovereign debt crises.
    > That is, unless we are confronted with new shock waves on the financial market or new issues among those European countries that are currently rocked by sovereign debt crises.
    > That is, unless we are confronted with new shock waves on the financial market or new issues among those countries of Europe that are currently rocked by sovereign debt crises.”
    Hmmm - not much to choose between them.

    the countries of Europe
    > in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in the peripheral countries of Europe.
    > in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in the peripheral European countries.
    > in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in the peripheral ????????.
    The first two sound OK. I can't find a way to put "Europe's countries" into this sentence without a great deal of contortion.
     

    temple09

    Senior Member
    English - British
    the countries of Europe
    > in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in the peripheral countries of Europe.
    > in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in the peripheral European countries.
    > in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in the peripheral ????????.
    The first two sound OK. I can't find a way to put "Europe's countries" into this sentence without a great deal of contortion.
    "in sharp contrast to the near 10pc deficits which have precipitated crisis in Europe's peripheral countries" would be best for that one.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    When it comes to grammar, they mean exactly the same thing, and are totally interchangeable.
    Although the genetive of Europe is "European"
    I'm not sure I agree -- "European" seems to be more of a general adjective rather than specifically a genitive. For example, I could easily say "I am of European descent." but I would be hard put to argue that my descent ever belonged to, or was ever owned by, Europe.

    I sometimes see formations like 'Europe's immigration problems' or 'Europe's financial woes' in the Press, but they seem to refer to the political/economic 'entity' (which we used to call the "European Economic Community" but now we just call "Europe") rather than to the geographic area.
    .
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    European is not the genitive of Europe, just to clarify.
    Not in English.

    I want to visit a European city (adjective).
    I visited one of Europe's major cities (genitive).
    *I visited one of European major cities :)cross:).
     

    temple09

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes. My apology. I misused that word. I should simply have said that in the example given, the word "European" is best used to replace the genitive form suggested.
     
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