I've translated the next sentences:

  1. A brother of my friend's will have finished university by the summer and he is looking forward to teaching at school.
  2. Tomorrow he'll be working all the day and we'll go to pool because I think he'll have finished all his work by that time.

These two sentences belong to the same exercise. And can't be get from the context. So I would like to know if I use "double possessive" correctly. And could I use "We're going to pool" as it is arrangement? Or as we aren't sure about his success at doing his work and we haven't arranged our meeting at a concrete time I should use simple time?

  • 2
    "We're going" is OK, because we often use the present continuous to describe plans, but "to pool" is not correct, because pool is a specific countable noun, so it has to be "we're going to the pool." We don't use an article for activities, but pool is a place, not an activity.
    – stangdon
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 20:00
  • 1
    @Anthony: "possessive case" just refers to words which are "inflected" (modified in form/sound) to indicate possession (or some other type of association). This includes both the Saxon genitive (John = John's) and possessive pronouns (me = my, mine, he / him = his, they = their, theirs, etc.) In constructions like an X of John's, an X of mine/his/etc. the last word can be a "possessive" form - but it doesn't need to be, because of already carries the required sense. Follow that link for more details. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 14:59
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    @stangdon: It would be possible to say I'm going to pool tonight in contexts where the reference is to playing in a pool hall - as an organised/regular activity, similar to John's not here right now - he's out at football this afternoon. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:05
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    @FumbleFingers - Fair enough. I was thinking of pool as swimming pool, not "playing billiards".
    – stangdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:12
  • 1
    @stangdon: I didn't mean to "undermine" your earlier assertion (which I've upvoted, because in the general case it's a useful perspective for learners). I just thought it might interest some people here to be aware of and consider closely-related usages that don't necessarily seem to follow the same general principles. Apropos which arguably the US/UK split over to go to (the) hospital is relevant, I dunno. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:56

1 Answer 1

  1. A brother of my friend's points out that my friend has, at least, two brothers. I would say: "One of my friend's brothers", it sounds more natural to me than "a brother of my friend's". If my friend has only one brother, it's better to say my friends's brother. More information on double possessives

  2. It's better to say to graduate from the university instead of to finish university.

  3. To THE pool, as Stangdon said. We are going is correct since the Present Continuous is used for arrangements.

  • Please note that we say: "He graduated from Harvard University" (with the zero article since Harvard University is a proper noun which does not require the definite article. Compare with "the University of Hawaii"). In sentences like this: "When students graduate from univesity, they are awarded licence", we also use the zero article since "to graduate from university" means 'to be a graduate'. We use "the" when we speak about a specific university or college.
    – Yulia
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 12:05
  • You've read my minds) I had wanted to make up a new topic on this issue before I got your response. But it is already written. I appreciate your help. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 12:13

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