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  1. This book is Mita's.
  2. This book is of Mita's.

1 is correct.

However, 2 also seems kind of correct. See the following sentences:

  1. This book is of Mita.
  2. I am of my mother.

2 is not correct. However, the reason why I intuitively thought that 2 is correct is probably because of sentences like 3 and 4, but the problem is that I don't know for sure if 3 and 4 are correct sentences or not.

My question:

  1. Are sentences 3 and 4 correct?
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    “This is a book of Mita's” is what I meant to write. That is more commonly said than 2. "This book is of Mita's" It's along the lines of "This is a friend/book/sibling of mine"
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 15, 2022 at 15:27
  • @Mari-LouA Are both sentences grammatically correct, though? Also, "This book is Mita's" is correct still, right? May 15, 2022 at 15:30
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    What's grammatical doesn't necessarily translate to it being more natural. Sentences 3 and 4 are not standard English.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 15, 2022 at 15:31
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    (3) and (4) are not idiomatic English. You might say something like "I am the youngest child of my mother", but not just "I am of my mother'. May 15, 2022 at 15:31
  • @Mari-LouA Isn't "This is a book of Mita's" the same sentence as "This book is of Mita's". The words have only been shuffled. May 15, 2022 at 15:39

2 Answers 2

1

When you introduce someone, it's quite common to say something like

"This is Jerry, he's a friend of the family"

In the same way we can talk about possession using "of"

  • Your pen's not working? Here, I can lend you one of mine.
  • This is a close friend of mine / … of Jerry's
  • This is a great book of Mita's, you should read it one day.

The sentence above is an example of the double genitive. The following is an answer by Barrie England posted on EL&U:

A friend of Susan’s is a double genitive, which has been a feature of English grammar for centuries, and it is the normal alternative to one of Susan’s friends. Just as most people would say a friend of mine, rather than a friend of me, so a friend of Susan’s, rather than a friend of Susan, would be the natural choice in most contexts.

The OP's sentence (1) is OK and although the second, This book is of Mita's, is grammatical it is not commonly used. Sentences (3) and (4) are non-standard English, and (4) is also difficult to parse.

  • Jerry is of me (?) I am (what?) of Jerry

I am a friend of Jerry.
I am Jerry's friend.

So, saying

  1. I am of my mother

is weird, it is not idiomatic (natural) in English. Instead you could say

  • I am my mother's daughter.
    I am my mother's favourite daughter/child.
    I am the last surviving child of my mother.
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This book is Mita’s.

is grammatical and idiomatic.

This book is of Mita

is so unidiomatic that I strongly believe it to be ungrammatical. I do not want to be dogmatic because it is certainly grammatical to have a prepositional phrase as a complement to the verb “be.” Example

Mita is in the house

is a perfectly proper and idiomatic sentence. However, the prepositional phrase of possession fronted by “of” as the complement of the verb “be” is nothing I have ever heard from a native American speaker. I can assure you that it is not idiomatic in the U.S.

The book is of Mita’s

is simply absurd. There are two ways to show possession in English. One, the most common, is to add “s” as a suffix to the noun designating the possessor or to use a possessive pronoun and then to follow with the noun designating the possession. The alternative is to follow the noun designating the possession with “of” followed in turn by the UNINFLECTED form of the noun designating the possessor.

You use inflection for the possessor or a possessive phrase fronted by “of,” but not both.

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  • By "absurd", do you mean mean "grammatically incorrect" or " extremely nonstandard"? May 16, 2022 at 3:25
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    It is very difficult to classify. It is certainly not “received” English and rare to non-existent in written English. Moreover, it is logically redundant. It is the kind of thing that may sometimes happen when someone is talking while simultaneously organizing his thoughts. All I’ll say is that I would not hire person using that locution for any job that requires writing or careful reading. May 16, 2022 at 3:53

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