This is a famous game of thrones quote:

The lion does not concern himself with the opinion of the sheep.

what is the difference between this sentence and this sentence:

The lion does not concern himself with the sheep's opinion.

2 Answers 2


No difference. You can use of the.. or 's for people, organisations and animals:

The sister of my friend / My friend's sister

The headquarters of the company / The company's headquarters

What's the name of the dog / the dog's name

Use ... of the for things:

.. the temperature of the water, the name of the painting, the number of the house

Use 's for times:

Next week's meeting, 5-days' holiday


When discussing possession or attribution, there is no difference between using "of the" and the possessive (apostrophe + s). The sheep's opinion and the opinion of the sheep are the same thing. The car's colour and the colour of the car likewise. So are the queen's coat and the coat of the queen. This is true for people, animals, and inanimate objects.

Possessives of inanimate objects: Despite rumors to the contrary, an inanimate object can form a possessive. The car’s engine is overheating. The laptop’s hard drive is fried.

The apostrophe

there’s no difference between the speed of the vehicle and the vehicle’s speed (or “vehicle speed,”

Chicago Manual of Style

  • I'd disagree about the car's colour, Michael.
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 14:14
  • 1
    In what way do you disagree? Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 16:19
  • Michael, I'd say it isn't common spoken style to use 's genitive with objects. I'd probably make a compound noun. Where are the car keys? What the house number, what's the water temperature There's something wrong with the computer hard drive.
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 18:49

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