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Dear teachers,

Would you please have a look at my exercise? Would you have MORE sentences for me to do?

Rewrite these sentences using a genitive whenever it is possible and making the necessary changes.

1) The goal of Bill Clinton is to make a distinction between legal and illegal immigration.

Bill Clinton'S goal is to make a distinction between legal and illegal immigration.

2) The short-term costs of immigration are very high. NO CHANGE (?)

3) The figures published last year show an increase in the number of Asian immigrants. NO CHANGE ?

4) Romeo and Juliet forfeit their lives partly as a result of the hatred and the prejudice of their parents. (is this sentence correct ?)

Romeo and Juliet forfeit their lives partly as a result of their parentS' hatred and prejudice.

5) The leader of the students was an excellent speaker. NO CHANGE

Thanks a lot,
Hela
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Comments  (Page 3) 
Dear teachers,

In the sentence "the castle of the King of England" I know that we cannot say "England's King's castle" but what is the reason for this? How would you explain why we cannot say England's King even if we know that the genitive form does not always express possession. For example if I say "John's grandfather" the possessive here does not indicate possession as such but rather some kind of relationship like the one England might have with her King. So... ? Moreover, do proper names (names of countries, towns, books, panets...) not always take a genitive form?

Thank you in advance for your help.
Hela

PS: Please do not forget to answer my previous question:
Dear MrP, why should we write "Bill Gates' achievements" and not "Bill Gates's achievements" and still pronounce /geitsiz/? Is it the same for "James' house" (or "James's house")?
Hi,

In the sentence "the castle of the King of England" I know that we cannot say "England's King's castle" but what is the reason for this? I'd say we can say this, if we want to. But we shouldn't, because it is repetitive, awkward and ugly.

Best wishes, Clive
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Emotion: big smile ok, Clive, apart from this aesthetic reason is there a "linguistic" reason for not saying "he is the England'sKing" ? Emotion: big smile
Hello Hela

"King of England's castle" is more natural than "England's King's castle". One reason of this may be that "King of England" is more natural than "England's King".

I personally have a feeling that repetition of s'-genitives is a convenient expression in certain contexts. (EX) I love my teacher's ex-husband's sister's husband's brother.

paco
Hi guys,

"The King of England" is more natural than "England's King". True, but I think that's because it is usually used as a title. If I were a historian comparing kings, I might well say something like In the late 18th century, France's king suffered a fate that England's king avoided.

Possession is an odd concept in some ways. For example, when we speak of Tom's watch, that seems clear. But how about when we use a word like 'family' with the 'of' construction? Does The family of Tom suggest that Tom possesses the family, or that the family possesses Tom, or even both?

Same question when we speak of the King of England, who possesses who?

I think that the form England's King more clearly suggests that it is England that is 'doing the possessing'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Hello

I have a feeling that some collocations in any natural language possess traits of the past in which the speakers' ancestors lived. "England's King" may be an expression suitable to the speakers who were born and have been living in democratic countries where people can have a notion that they are electing their ruler or governor through votes. But I think the collocation "England's King" was unsuitable to the notion of the people in the old time in which a king had an absolute sovereignty over a country and the people who lived there. For those people, I think, an expression like "ruler of England" or "King of England" might better fit their notion toward the king, and on occasions when they had to use "England" as a word attributive to the king, they should have said "English King" rather than "England's King". Expressions like "New York's Mayor" sound natural to me, but I would prefer "British Queen" rather to "Britain's Queen", because, historically speaking, kings or queens are not an entity owned by a country but an entity owning a country.

Best wishes,

paco
Hi Paco,

I agree with you.

However, I'd like to add one further comment. I wouldn't say that historically speaking, kings or queens are not an entity owned by a country but an entity owning a country. Instead, I'd prefer to say that, in earlier history, the king and the country were seen as one and the same. In a sense, the king embodied the country. Hence, the use of the royal 'we'. Consider this dialogue from Henry V, in which Shakespeare demonstrates the Tudor attitude to this matter. The King and the country are one and the same.

HENRY V
Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met!
Unto our brother France, and to our sister,
Health and fair time of day;
KING OF FRANCE


Right joyous are we to behold your face,
Most worthy brother England; fairly met:
So are you, princes English, every one.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi, Clive

I don't know that use of "we" necessarily means the king and the country were taken as the same entity. The OED, a mere dictionary for a British dialect of your language, quotes "We, Dermot, prince of Leynester (1425)" as the oldest use of "we" of that usage. The OED says the "we" was commonly followed by a personal title or name. Anyway, even if what you told is true, I am wondering if it could be an evidence to support the opinion "England's King" is a natural expression. The OED is saying in its entry of "of" about the issue on England's King and the King of England as follows:

"OF" XIV. In the sense belonging or pertaining to; expressing possession and its converse: "the owner of the house", "the house of the owner".

Formerly expressed by the genitive, and still to some extent by the possessive case (with transposition of order). The use of of began in Old English with senses 47, 48, expressing origin. After the Norman Conquest the example of the French "de", which had taken the place of the L. genitive, caused the gradual extension of "of" to all uses in which Old English had the genitive; the purely possessive sense was the last to be so affected, and it is that in which the genitive or "possessive" case is still chiefly used. Thus, we say the King's English, in preference to the English of the King; but the King of England in preference to England's King, which is not natural or ordinary prose English.

You are speaking the American Language which is spoken in a country where Martin Luther King was born, and so I don't say "England's King" is completely wrong as far as you concerned.

Best wishes,

paco
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Hi,

You are speaking the American Language. . . No, I speak British English modified by years in Canada.

Somehow, I seem to have given the impression that I would normally say 'England's King'. That was not my intention. I merely intended to say that one could say that.

Anyway, I enjoyed discussing this. I guess we have just about exhausted this topic, haven't we?

Best wishes, Clive
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