-Of- versus - 's -

5
votes

Hello!

Is the preposition of used to express possesion just like the form 's? It's just that sometimes 's can be omitted when expressing possession?

Thanks a lot!

2426 views
updated JUN 9, 2010
posted by AntMexico

12 Answers

5
votes

"The Rolling Stones Album" is incorrect grammatically. It should technically be Stones' (with the apostrophe at the end to denote possession), but we English tend to be a bit sloppy.

Jeje....as though "we English" had a monopoly on sloppiness tongue rolleye

Actually, I disagree with the above statement (not the sloppiness but the part about this being grammatically incorrect). This is not an example of the possessive case. What is happening here is that the noun "album" is being modified by the noun "Rolling Stones." Said another way, the proper noun "Rolling Stones" is being used like an adjective. The adjectival use of nouns is common in English but can be confusing when moving between Spanish and English as Spanish does not allow nouns to be used in this way. For example, in English we might say:

The stone wall (i.e. the wall made of stone)

In Spanish this would be:

La pared de piedra

Here, the preposition "de" refers to the material that the wall is made out of. However, when you consider the various uses of this preposition, it would be equally possible to use the same Spanish phrase to come up with the following semantically incorrect construction:

The stone's wall - La pared de piedra (The wall belonging to the stone).

In the same way, it might be possible to come up with various fallacious interpretations for the following:

El Nuevo Álbum de los Rolling Stones.

For example, were you to interpret this as the possessive case - The new Rolling Stones' album - it would indicate that the album itself belongs to/is the property of (Denota posesión o pertenencia) the Rolling Stones; however, this construction would be incorrect syntactically as well as semantically because if the album belongs to the Rolling Stones then the adjective new is in effect modifying the noun Rolling Stones. This means that the sentence is describing the Rolling Stones (the entity/band) as being "new." Of course this is not the case, so this interpretation should probably be rejected.

What the sentence is actually saying is that the album was made by or contains music from (para señalar lo contenido en algo) the Rolling Stones (i.e. the album contains music made by the Rolling Stones) perhaps this could also be interpreted as the type of music that is contained on the album (el asunto de la obra).

On a side note, if you were to shift the adjective "new" so that it modifies the word "album," you would have: The Rolling Stones' new album whose meaning would depend on context. For example it could be used to imply that the new album belongs to the Rolling Stones (perhaps they just went out and bought it today), but it might also be interpreted to mean that the material on the album belongs to the Rolling Stones (i.e. they were the artistic creators of the album - the album contains music made by the Rolling Stones who also hold the rights to the this work do to it being there creation).

Hopefully, this last bit did not confuse you, but perhaps you might try analyzing the following question and answer pairs:

What kind of music is on the album?

  • Rolling Stones music [adjectival use]

Whose music is on the album?

  • The Rolling Stones' music [possessive use]

Who does the album belong to?

  • It's the Rolling Stones' album
updated JUN 9, 2010
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
Not "like an adjective" but "as an adjective". Not the same thing.
OK Izanoni1... I'll have to study this in deep! Thanks!
For the stone's wall, wouldn't that be la pared de la piedra -- not de piedra?
I think this example is slightly confused by the definite article being part of the name of the group. Consider Pink Floyd, you could have "the Pink Floyd album" (Pink Floyd as adjective) or "Pink Floyd's album", both would be correct
2
votes

I can see how this could be confusing for someone learning English, Actually, of is almost never used to express possession. It is almost always used as a transitive word referring to a noun. Like "A piece of cake." This would not be the cake's piece as a cake cannot have ownership.

A phrase like "End of the sentence." It is not talking about the sentence's end, but a part of it.

updated JUN 9, 2010
posted by coolclay
2
votes

Yes, you can say "The houseof Marianne" but it sounds very odd. It's better to say "Marianne's house."

Did you have another example that you saw "of" used instead of "s?"

updated JUN 7, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
de acuerdo
Thanks Marianne.
I like "The House of Marianne." It sounds like a classy restaurant. Or beauty parlor.
1
vote

Bye the way, There are some strange examples in other posts.

Nobody ever says hill's top or hill of top.. it is hill top.

Top of the hill is different from hill top top.

In Rolling Stones, that refers to more than one stone, but in the case mentioned above, they are talking about the name of a musical group. Names do not have to follow grammar.

Grammatically, Rolling stones album is correct because it is not indicating possession.. it is plural for stone which is right, anyone who puts punctuation there is wrong.

However if the rolling stones owned that album, the punctuation would be appropriate.

updated JUN 9, 2010
edited by coolclay
posted by coolclay
Actually, I would say things like...We've reached the hill's top. What is that over there? It is the top of a hill. Just saying.
Iiinteresting! I would say 'we've reached the top of the hill!' But of course I would understand hill's top as well. :)
1
vote

Short answer: yes.

Long answer follows:

In most cases the formula is {noun}'s = of {noun}.

That is the hill's top = That is the top of the hill.

.

When the noun is human, we can use the double possessive (especially read the part about a portrait) under certain circumstances.

That is one of mom's cars = That is a car of mom's.

It doesn't work with the.

Don't use this: The car of mom's is cool.

But it does work with a, this, and that.

A car of mom's was stolen. = One of mom's cars was stolen.

That car of Susie's is red.

This car of his is fast. (In this case, I used the possessive pronoun his...no 's needed).

It's not possible to say that Susie's car or this his car (very different from this, his car...the comma changes everything)...so in these two cases, the double possessive would be required, I think. .

In some cases, you can omit the 's and use the noun like an adjective...(but I don't know the rules right now)

That is the top of a hill => That is a hill top

Like, it might be a specific top, but, based on our current information, it could belong to any hill.

updated JUN 8, 2010
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
1
vote

I've just seen this:

  1. The Rolling Stones music profile on Yahoo! Music.
  2. New Rolling Stones Album

Which I guess it would be translated like this:

  1. Perfil de música de los Rolling Stones en Yahoo! Music.
  2. Nuevo Álbum de los Rolling Stones.
updated JUN 8, 2010
posted by AntMexico
I just might write "perfil de LA musica..." but the world won't end if "LA" gets left out..
1
vote

In that particular case I think that it is because "The Rolling Stones" is used as a noun adjunct/noun modifier which would excuse the lack of an apostrophe.

For example: "the new Madonna album" is slightly different from "Madonna's new album" What kind of album is it? A Madonna album or a pop album Whose new album is it? Madonna's

"The Grateful Dead music profile" I think that The Grateful Dead is describing the profile. What kind of music profile is it? A Grateful Dead one. Whose is it? The Grateful Dead's

LKelly is right about words ending in -s needing an apostrophe after the -s that sometimes gets omitted out of sloppiness.

As for "of"... It doesn't sound odd to use "of" in conjunction w/a word ending in 's or a possessive pronoun. For example: Do you remember that car of mom's (or mine or his) that used to break down all the time? We wouldn't say "the car of mom".

updated JUN 8, 2010
posted by alba3
See!!! This is what I love about you and Izanoni and some of the others. You all have the grammatical knowledge to explain things such as this. I, on the other, hand only know a mistake has been made but know not the reasoning behind it.
1
vote

I was going to disagree with the Stones thing also but I'm glad Izanoni beat me to it, he's so much better at explaing that sort of thing.

updated JUN 8, 2010
posted by Yeser007
I don't know about that Gary...I think I tend to confound things with my wordiness. ON the other hand, I have seen enough succinct and eloquently worded responses offered by yourself to know the value of your explanations :)
jejeje, I don't even know what succinct means, excuse me while I consult Mr. Webster.
1
vote

"The Rolling Stones Album" is incorrect grammatically. It should technically be Stones' (with the apostrophe at the end to denote possession), but we English tend to be a bit sloppy.

updated JUN 7, 2010
posted by lkelly
0
votes

Marianne's would not be a contraction. It would show ownership.

Contractions are used to say is or have.
It is --> it's that is --> that's we have -->we've

It is not necessary to learn these as you don't really need them, but people do use them sometimes

updated JUN 9, 2010
edited by coolclay
posted by coolclay
0
votes

One thing that's never occurred to me to check is if "Marianne's" is a concatenation of two words from maybe old english. I should look that up.

updated JUN 7, 2010
posted by salsero69
0
votes

nervermind, ignore this.

updated JUN 7, 2010
edited by cheeseisyummy
posted by cheeseisyummy