I'm completely fine with both these sentences:

I am sure of my brother's passing the exam.

I am sure of my brother passing the exam.

So I suppose it's OK to use "his + Ving" or "him + Ving" in this kind of sentences.

However, when it comes to the following:

(a) The advantage of college students taking a part-time job is ...

(b)The advantage of college students' taking a part-time job is ...

Sentence (b) sounds extremely weired to me.


The advantage of my car is...

sounds completely fine, but doesn't it have the same sentence structure as (b)?

Is (b) correct?

  • There's some informative discussion on ELU. Grammatically there seems to be little distinction (in both cases the clause works fine as a gerund), and if anything, the weirdness is just a result of taking an already somewhat uncommon construct and applying it to a more elaborate sentence. Jan 10 at 17:37
  • Also, for some reason I much prefer including of in the gerunds after the possessive (my brother's passing of the exam, college students' taking of a part-time job), but I have no idea why and can't find much support for it. Jan 10 at 17:42

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