I am currently working on my SAT book, and I encountered a question like this:

The Golden Record contains a great cross-section of human civilizations, but that information still needs to be communicated to an alien civilization that doesn't speak any of A. HUMAN / B. HUMANS' languages.

The book states that the answer is B, but I don't know why that is the case. It looks perfectly fine to me if the sentence were to end with'...any of human languages,'

I'd really appreciate it if you could help me by explaining why this is the correct answer.

  • With of, it should be B. Without of, it should be A. Feb 2, 2023 at 21:20
  • 1
    Could you please be a little more specific? Is it about the use of OF?
    – Kyle S
    Feb 2, 2023 at 21:21
  • Doesn't speak any of humans' languages is grammatical; so is doesn't speak any human languages. But *doesn't speak any of human languages is ungrammatical, and so is *doesn't speak any humans' languages. That's just the way the noun phrase crumbles; those little words always get in the way. Feb 2, 2023 at 21:27
  • any of humans' languages is grammatical, but not the normal way of expressing it. Another question seemingly written by a non-native speaker who doesn't know how native English speakers speak.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 2, 2023 at 22:57
  • There is often an alternative to artificial pairs of options. For example, what about C 'any human language'.
    – Tuffy
    Feb 2, 2023 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


If you used "human" instead of "humans'," you would need a determiner there, so it would have to be "any of the human languages."

"Any human language" would be the most idiomatic way of stating this. But "any of human languages" is grammatically incorrect, whereas "any of humans' languages" is grammatically correct albeit unidiomatic.

  • Unidiomatic to the point of unacceptable à la Orwell? Feb 3, 2023 at 12:05

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