I have noticed that while rendering Spanish text into English, I tend to overuse the construction "of the". I vaguely recall hearing or reading once that the (abuse?) of the said construction is kind of frowned-upon in English.

How do you usually cope with this issue?

In certain cases, one can easily find a way to get round this construction ("la casa del ladrón" -> "The thief's house" or "The thief's place" instead of "the house of the thief"); yet, in certain occasions, it is not at all clear how to proceed ("son derechos de los estudiantes de pregrado de la Universidad del País Vasco" -> "among the rights of the undergrads of the University of the Basque Country")...

Please, let me thank you in advance for your replies.

  • For your example, you could say "among the student's rights at the University of the Basque Country..."
    – The Photon
    Apr 27, 2018 at 5:35
  • @ThePhoton "students' rights", not "student's rights" Apr 27, 2018 at 20:33
  • I have not seen the Spanish, but often, sentences with among like that become restructured in English....
    – Lambie
    May 5, 2018 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


You can use movement of nouns and possessives to eliminate all but one of the occurrences of 'of the' from this: "among the rights of the undergrads of the University of the Basque Country")...

Among The University of the Basque Country undergraduates' rights

('Undergrads' is informal)

I am supposing the following: the proper full name, in English, of the university is exactly this: "The University of the Basque Country" I do not know enough Basque to tell if Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea would need a definite article, but it seems to me that Universidad del País Vasco does not have one. In any case, English educational institutions are often referred to without any article:

Among Oxford University undergraduates' rights

If I am correct in this, then the following natural, and not at all awkward construction is possible:

Among University of the Basque Country undergraduates' rights

  • That feels awkward to me. It makes you wonder whether it's just any old university & we may be discussing the rights of students from the Basque Country. It becomes clear after a 2nd read, but it's not immediately obvious, unlike @ThePhoton 's comment [apart from the contested apostrophe] Apr 29, 2018 at 10:41
  • What "feels awkward" about it? Why "any old university"? It is explicitly named. See also my edits above. Apr 29, 2018 at 12:31
  • I'm not really certain - maybe you already need to know that 'The University of the Basque Country' is an entity. If you don't, then your brain somehow splits the parts up wrongly first time through. Apr 29, 2018 at 16:05
  • I think I understand more than you realise. I know: (1) UPV/EHU is an entity. (2) It is a Basque university. (3) The native language of Euzkadi is not English, therefore (4) The English name "The University of the Basque Country" must be a translation. Apr 29, 2018 at 18:45
  • I've now no clue what you're getting at. I don't know what UPV/EHU is. I don't know what Euzkadi is. When I said "maybe you need to know" I meant maybe one needs to know, a point which you have now eloquently clarified for me ;) Apr 29, 2018 at 19:10

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