There's a portrait of my mother in that room.

There's my mother's portrait in that room.

Are the both sentences the same in the meaning?

  • Can you add some context around your examples?
    – user3169
    Sep 8, 2017 at 6:18

3 Answers 3


Yes and no. Both the sentence do logically mean the same thing, but grammatically the second sentence can mean possesion (according to grammar rules) if followed by "of". Like: "It's my mother's portrait of me and my sister" - means that she made this portrait.

The first construction, that is "a portrait of" is more common.


They are not quite the same in meaning, although they can be equivalent depending on context.

"portrait of my mother" unambiguously means a portrait that depicts my mother.

However, "my mother's portrait" can mean either a portrait depicting my mother or a portrait of any subject either owned or created by my mother.

It is impossible to tell which without additional context.


Though both the sentences convey the same message, there is a negligible difference in using apostrophe over the 'of clause'.

I am not sure, but I feel that with animated subjects, the apostrophe is preferred or at least is more common.

There is my mother's portrait in that room (animated subject) but
The car's color color of car is red (inanimate subject).

[Note: Don't consider this as a concrete rule!]


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .