my one self-indulgence

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easychen

Senior Member
Chinese
There is a sentence in a dictionary that reads" My one self-indulgence is expensive coffee." I think that the construction of the sentence is wrong and that the sentence should be rewritten as"One self-indulgence of mine is expensive coffee." What do you think?

many thanks!
 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Easychen, I think that the two sentences you mentioned would mean different things:

    My one self-indulgence is expensive coffee.-- this is the only one. I have no other "vices" (as biblio suggested)
    One self-indulgence of mine is expensive coffee -- I indulge in several things, and one of them is expensive coffee.

    To be frank, the two sentences don't strike me as very natural-sounding, but that may be because I'm a non-native speaker.
     
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    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    As Trisia pointed out, the two sentences mean two different things. It's no different than saying:

    "My one bad habit is biting my nails"

    This tells us that you have only one bad habit.

    If you say: "One bad habit of mine is biting my nails", we know that you have more than one bad habit. You're saying:

    "One bad habit of mine is biting my nails. The others are smoking, drinking and partying".

    Unlike Trisia, I don't have a problem with either sentence - they both sound natural enough to me.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I remember once at a wedding I saw an ornate male guest produce a very recondite fashion accessory, plunge it into his champagne, and say 'My gold-plated swizzle-stick, my one little affectation'. We all took note.
     
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