A method of driving a motor vehicle comprising the steps of: 1)... 2)...

Before, I had this mistake to say "The variable of X" instead of "The variable X", but the sentence again looks like "The variable of X" to me!

Anyway, what is the grammar or structure for using "of" (bold one) in this sentence.

  • Note that A method of driving a motor vehicle comprising the steps of: 1)... 2)... is not a sentence. It's a noun phrase. The head-word of the phrase is method. Aug 1, 2015 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


In "the variable X" we have either nominals in apposition ( "variable" and "X" refer to the same entity: "the variable, X") or the adjective "variable" modifying "X". The former is the more likely, as in "the novelist, Thomas Hardy" though we can make an adjective: "Do you prefer novelist Hardy or poet Hardy?"

In "a method of driving" we have a noun "method" modified (described) by the phrase "of driving", stating what kind of method it is, what the method pertains to, that is, the domain of activity to which it belongs: "driving".

  • Thank you, that was very helpful, then the color of red or the color red ?
    – Ahmad
    Aug 1, 2015 at 13:04
  • 1
    X is the variable, and red is the color. Those are alternate ways of referring to the same thing. For those, apposition makes sense. In your model sentence, "driving a motor vehicle" and "a method" are not the same thing. There could be several methods of driving, only one of which is described. We could contrast the method of driving with the purpose of driving or the nature of driving, without changing what "driving" means. On the other hand, if we contrast the variable X with the constant X, we'll have changed what "X" means -- we'll have two X's. Aug 1, 2015 at 14:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .