I and a friend of mine are looking at a photo of a group of people, three of whom are our friend Janet's uncles.

I say: Janet's uncle looks unwell.

My friend says: No, he doesn't. I realize that my friend is not looking at the uncle I am talking about..

I point to the man I am talking about and say

a. I am talking about this one of Janet's uncles.

b. I am talking about this uncle of Janet's.

c. I am talking about this uncle of Janet.

Which of the sentences a-c are grammatically correct and can be used in this context?

Many thanks.


1 Answer 1


Having established that you are both talking about uncles of Janet, and those limited to the photo, there is really no need to repeat so much of what you have already stated.

You could say:

I meant this uncle.

Or even just:

This one.

What doesn't make sense is why you would refer to "Janet's uncle" if you knew there were 3 of them in the photo. If you knew that 3 of them in the photo were uncles you would surely anticipate the confusion and be more specific. Further, if your friend knew there were 3 uncles in the photo, her natural response to you referring to "Janet's uncle" would be "which one?" As it stands, it sounds like you each only knew about one uncle (different ones) in which case the confusion was inevitable and would lead to more surprise and questions than any of the responses discussed.

  • "Sophie", or "Janet"? (I've edited)
    – James K
    Feb 18 at 23:18

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