..friend of Lady McCartney's


Senior Member
From a report in the Daily Telegraph:

Mr Amigoni, 23, is a close friend of Lady Mcartney's

Would this have carried a different meaning if it had said of Lady McCartney? If not, which is correct, but if so, what is the difference?
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Nope, it would have had the same meaning.
    ... of Lady McCartney's is what strict grammarians seem to prefer, and is probably to be recommended in formal writing like this.
    ... of Lady McCartney is the more 'natural' spoken version.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I still find the 'double possessive' a friend of Lady McCartney's quite natural, though I recognise a lot of people would say it without the 's.

    When you have a pronoun, I'm sure the 'double possessive' is still obligatory:
    a friend of mine (not: of me)
    a friend of yours (not: of you)
    a friend of his/hers etc (not: of him/her)

    [I think I may have invented the term "double possessive"]


    Senior Member
    English English
    That sounds right to me that 'double possessive', Løøbling. And yes, even I would insist on a friend of mine [etc.] and not a friend of me.


    Senior Member
    Thank you. Interesting answers - and an interesting question (for me, that is), because the double possessive, isn't seen in any other language that I'm aware of. Not that my awareness stretches very far.
    < Previous | Next >