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History's London is closely bound up with England's history.

History's London is closely bound up with that of England.

History's London is closely bound up with the history of England's.

Our findings are different from the findings of John et al's (2014).

Our findings are different from John et al's findings (2014).

Our findings are different from those of John et al's (2014).

Our findings are different from those of John et als' (2014)

Would you please tell me if these are correct? if not, could you correct me? and which one do you use in academic style?

Many thanks

  • 1
    John et al. means John and others so it is already plural - there is no need to add any further pluralising characters. Notice the punctuation of et al. the period is after al not between at and al. – Frank Sep 25 '14 at 6:00
  • It is also common to have a space between et and al. – painfulenglish Sep 25 '14 at 7:27
  • so, merely is the last one incorrect? and what about my original question? – nima Sep 25 '14 at 8:22
  • I think you mean London's history, not history's London. – snailplane Sep 25 '14 at 12:31
  • There is no dot between "et" and "al". There is a dot following "al" because it is an abbreviation. (Of "alias" in its declined form "alii".) Also, parentheses snug up against their contents and always have a leading and trailing spaces between them and the rest of their containing sentences. – Codeswitcher Feb 27 '15 at 5:05
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By "history's London" do you mean the history of London? If so, the correct expression is "The history of London" or "London's history".

Correct forms would be:

London's history is closely bound up with England's history.

London's history is closely bound up with that of England.

London's history is closely bound up with the history of England.

"Of" makes it possessive, so you don't also add "'s" to "England".

Our findings are different from the findings of John et al (2014).

or

Our findings are different from the findings of John et al. (2014).

"et al" is short for the Latin "et alii". So "et" of itself is not an abbreviation and does not call for a period. thefreedictionary.com says to put a period after "al". I think I usually see it with no periods at all.

Our findings are different from John et al.'s (2014) findings.

Typically we put the publication date immediately after the title or author, not at the end of the sentence. I suppose this could depend on the style guide that you are using.

Our findings are different from those of John et al. (2014).

Like an earlier one, the "of" indicates possession, so you do not also use an "'s". Or if you were thinking you need an "s" to make it plural, "et al" means "and others" and so is already plural. While most English plurals end with an "s", you shouldn't add one when they don't.

Our findings are different from those of John et al. (2014).

Ends up the same as the previous.

So let's see, what general rules came out of that?

The history of London is "London's history", not "history's London".

To make a possessive, you can use "of" or you can use "'s". Don't use both. "England's history" or "history of England", not "history of England's". To be technical, perhaps I should add that that last could be correct if you were using "history of England" as the "owner" of something. Like, "The history of England's importance can be seen by ..." Here "England" modifies "history", but then "history of England" as a unit modifies "importance". We could also write that, "The importance of the history of England can be seen by ..."

Technicality: It's "et al.", not "et.al". "Al" is the abbreviation; "et" is a complete word.

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  • Because et alii and et al. are in a foreign language, it is best to italicize them (if possible) or underline them (if italicizing is not possible). Et alii can be translated as "among others". – Jasper Sep 25 '14 at 18:41

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