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I stumbled upon this while reading a detective novel An Innocent Client by Scott Prat.

Below is the phrase in context.

Landers ate lunch there two or three times a month. Even now and then he'd stop in and have a beer after work. He went to high school with the owners. And he knew several of the waitresses. Especially the waitresses. Landers had phone numbers for all of them.

My question is would it make sense if the man said he knew several waitresses there instead of knew several of the waitresses.

Thank you in advance.

2

There is a group of waitresses that work at the restaurant. The usage of of the indicates grammatically that the waitresses that Landers knows are part of this group. If you omit it, it's reasonable to assume that the waitresses that Landers knows are part of the group, but not 100% certain.

If, however, you change the sentence to

He met several waitresses at the restaurant
He met several of the waitresses at the restaurant

In the first sentence, it is not grammatically clear, or reasonable to assume, that the waitresses he met were part of this group... it could be a favorite place for off-duty waitresses from other restaurants to go, or they could all have gone there together for a hen night. In the second sentence, it is grammatically clear that he met the waitresses that were part of this group.

1
  • Thank you so much JavaLatte! 🙏 – user348715 May 21 '19 at 16:10

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