2

As an esl teacher I'm a bit embarrassed about this one. I have some groups on WhatsApp to practice English and in one of them a student put: "Today is birthday of my father and my."

What would the correct sentence be? Thanks for your time. I love this site!

2

Try

My and my father's birthday.

It's still a tad awkward sounding, but there's no perfect way out of this particular linguistic cul-de-sac in English.

Note: never use my except as a possessive pronoun. Say "Today is the birthday of my father and me," never "my father and my."

|improve this answer|||||
  • As you say, there's no perfect way, but me and my twin's birthday seems like the best of a bad bunch. Delorna wanted to make her and her twin's birthday as pleasant as possible. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 15 '18 at 17:46
  • 2
    So you would use me as a possessive pronoun? Curious. At best, that usage would be dialectical, not standard English. – Robusto Jan 15 '18 at 17:59
  • I never actually thought to search for my and my twin's birthday when posting that first comment. There was only one hit for my version (I mean the version that sounds better to me, obviously! :) but there are none at all for your (=my) version. Insignificant, perhaps, given the minuscule sample size, but one might have expected some grammarian to be drumming it into us that we should say my and my twin's rather than me and my twin's if they really had the courage of their convictions. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 15 '18 at 18:12
  • 1
    In the long run I don't think OP has anything to gain by allowing himself to be convinced that either of our two versions is "correct" or "dialectal". All he really needs to recognise is that competent native speakers may disagree or be uncertain about what's "best" or "most natural". So he's no reason to feel embarrassed, since in practical terms, his opinion is as good as anyone else's in this matter. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 15 '18 at 18:21
  • @Fumble: That feels like sophistry. If his opinion is as good as anyone else's, what is the value of this site? – Robusto Jan 15 '18 at 19:53
1

The sentence in the question would be better as

Today is the birthday of my father and me.

Another way to say this awkward sentence is

Today is my birthday and my father's.

with the sentence left dangling, its meaning obvious. However I was taught not to mention myself in a sentence before others (a matter of manners), so another way could be

Today is my father's birthday and mine.

And going off a bit:

My father and I share the same birthday, which is today!

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    "Going off a bit" is the right thing to do here. Rephrasing and paraphrasing is often the best solution if a sentence feels awkward. – James K Jan 15 '18 at 21:04
  • If "Today is the birthday of my father and me" is the best way, I don't want to be right! :) I'm going to suggest that they rephrase as in most of these answers that seems like the best sounding option. Thanks to all. – Prof Willy Brasil Jan 16 '18 at 20:14
  • I didn't say it is the best way. I began the answer with a grammatical version of the sentence in the body of your question. My opinion of the best way, is the last sentence in my answer. – Weather Vane Jan 16 '18 at 20:21
  • How about Today is the birthday of my father's and mine.? – dan Jan 17 '18 at 23:46
0

I can think of these only:

  • Today is our birthday. Mine and my father's.
  • Today I and my father have a birthday.
  • Today it's my father's birthday and mine too.
|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.