Am I right to say such like this:

She noticed the change of her son.

Is it different from the sentence:

she noticed the change in her son?

  • 4
    change of her son sound something like this. Say there are two person named A and B, both are of her son's age. "A" is her son. If you say change of her son, it might mean now "B" is her son :-) (It might not be the exact idea, but I guess you got it) Change in her son is something like that. Her son was angry, and now he calmed down. That is change in her son. – Man_From_India Feb 9 '15 at 14:50
  • You lost me @Man_From_India! :) I was thinking a chemistry olympiad question looking at that! Oh, I get it now! – M.A.R. Feb 9 '15 at 16:39
  • @MARamezani Chemistry and English :-) nice combination :-) – Man_From_India Feb 9 '15 at 17:01

"The change in her son" would represent a change within her son, i.e a change in how he feels internally. "The change of her son" would mean that she noticed somebody has replaced her son.

  • Why was this downvoted? – Harry Ray Feb 9 '15 at 16:51
  • My downvote is because idiomatically native speakers would almost always use the gerund noun form changing in the unlikely event that they intended your second meaning (and if for some reason they were unwilling to use a more "natural" noun such as replacement, substitution). – FumbleFingers Feb 15 '15 at 17:03
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    Well, speaking as a native British English speaker, reading that second statement and interpreting it the way I did is how I and most of the people I know would have. – Harry Ray Feb 16 '15 at 9:32
  • I can see where you're coming from. But (1) it would require you to assume the statement came from a native speaker, otherwise it's obviously just a non-native speaker using the wrong preposition. And (2) even if we switch to a more credible context, I don't believe any native speaker would say, for example, "I noticed the change of your son's car" when they meant "I see your son changed his car". On a learners site, your answer misleadingly imputes validity to an effectively "invalid" utterance. – FumbleFingers Feb 16 '15 at 12:44

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