Possessive Pronouns replace Possessive adjectives and nouns For eg - That is my(possessive adjective) ball(noun) That is mine(possessive pronoun) or That ball is mine(possessive pronoun) That ball is my (possessive adjective) ball(noun)

Now my question is : In the sentence , A friend of mine -- What does this mean ? I mean why doesn't it mean A friend of my friend ?

Possessive pronouns are used to show who owns something so we can say a friend of mine to tell that I own that friend , but isn't it weird that how the possessive adj and noun is are replaced For eg -- A friend of mine(possessive pronoun ) changes to A friend of my(possessive adj) friend(noun) ?? plz answer my question !!

  • A friend of mine is one of my friends. A friend of a friend is not.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


"A friend of mine" uses the double possessive, since it uses both "of" and a possessive noun/pronoun. The reason we have double possessives in English in the first place is to help eliminate ambiguity. For example, "a picture of me" is a picture that I'm in, while "a picture of mine" is a picture I own.

I'm not entirely sure why it came to be used in "a friend of X", but it's idiomatic.

Also, the expression you would get if you replaced the pronoun with a noun is:

A friend of Shumroz's


In the phrase "a friend of mine", "mine" refers to all of the speaker's friends, and "of" means something like "out of" or "from among". So the whole phrase can be interpreted as "a friend from among my group of friends". The phrase identifies some person as belonging to the speaker's group of friends.

You must log in to answer this question.

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