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Here are two examples:

  1. The front wall is all that remains of the fort.
  2. ... since no records will remain of their phone conversations, emails, blogs, and text messages.

The sentences below have the preposition of sandwiched between two nouns to form a noun phrase.

1a. The front wall of the fort is all that remains.

2a. ... since no records of their phone conversations, emails, blogs, and text messages will remain.

I’m wondering whether they hold the same meaning, eager to know the answer! Many thanks.

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The front wall is all that remains of the fort.

This can only mean one thing, that the front wall is all that remains of the fort.

The front wall of the fort is all that remains.

This, however, can mean two things. It can either mean that the front wall is all the remains of the fort or that the front wall of the fort is all that remains anywhere, or anywhere in some defined scope.

For instance, if the context of the passage is about the fort and the fort alone, then the reader can safely assume that this sentence means that the front wall is all that remains of the fort. However, if the context of the passage is about a town decimated by war, then the reader will need more context to know if the front wall is all the remains of the fort or of that town.

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When a description follows the noun or verb remain or remains, it very often takes OF:

  • The Remains of the Day
  • the remains of the fort on the hill
  • The remains of the meal were scattered on the lawn.
  • Does anything remain of your former relationship?
  • Nothing remains of our friendship.
  • The person's remains were put in the morgue. [There no as remains does not require any description for the technical term: human remains.]

remain as a verb is to continue to exist, or not, as a noun: the leftovers or what is leftover. remain meaning stay is not affected by this.

The reason for this is simple: something remains of something, verb something is/are the remains of something.

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