I’m not a native English speaker so I wanted to ask about something that I always hear being said.
The thing of somebody’s.
Is this right? Shouldn’t it be this way?
The thing of somebody.
Please answer because this is getting me confused.
Based on these two examples:
“Sweet child of mine” “You wouldn’t know him, he’s an old friend of mine”
One can say the following about these uses of these stand-alone possessive pronouns.
of mine, of theirs, of ours, of yours, of his, of hers, [of its, very unusual].
They are used when the referent (the person who one is referring belongs to a class of persons). It is used to be emphatic, or, in contrast to someone else or something else.
A friend of mine = One of my friends [same thing]
A friend of mine has that CD. = One of my friends has that CD. Those two sentences mean exactly the same thing.
This is very different from:
My friend’s CD was not in her living room.
My friend’s CD= the CD that belongs to my friend.
“He’s an old friend of mine” , therefore, can be expressed as: He’s one of my old friends. But cannot be expressed as using a noun plus apostrophe s and a noun, as in: my friend’s CD.
This is all very standard English.
A friend of his came to the party late. = One of his friends came to the party late.