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This dog is a friend of mine's.

Apparently the apostrophe (plus the "s") is modifying the whole phrase "a friend of mine" even though it looks as if it's modifying only "mine". (mine is already a possessive so it wouldn't make sense to add an apostrophe to it)

My question is "How do we call this use of the possessive?".

BTW, it seems that we cannot say "This dog is my friend's." so we're forced to use the above construction or something like "This dog belongs to a friend of mine". (objective case)
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Comments  (Page 2) 
As Ivan pointed out, the 's is attaching to "a friend of mine" and making that whole phrase possessive.

Please read both of my posts, though. I'm not suggesting it be used.
Grammar GeekIn speech, yes, you'll hear "this is a friend of mine's dog.
Fortunately, in conversation, you'd rarely need to put it all in a single sentence.
Nice dog. [I've] never seen it before. Is it yours? (reply) No, [it's] a friend of mine's. I'm just taking care of him.
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You can't say *this dog is a friend of mine's - the punctuation is unacceptable: 'mine' is a possessive pronoun so the possessive apostrophe is superfluous. The correct punctuation is 'This dog is a friend of mine'.

But when you introduce a secondary possessive, the correct punctuation is 'This is a friend of mine's dog'. If you think about it, it couldn't be punctuated any other way.

BillJ
Presumably then, we can also have It's

a friend of yours's, a friend of ours's, a friend of his's, ... Emotion: dog.

It makes sense to me, but it's bizarre. Only the one with mine's doesn't bother me.

CJ
That dog was a friend of mine's! - And you're no dog! Emotion: shake
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CalifJimOnly the one with mine's doesn't bother me.
Hi CJ

Could you elaborate why the one with "mine's" doesn't bother you? Do you mean that in speech and in writing it is OK?
BillJYou can't say *this dog is a friend of mine's - the punctuation is unacceptable: 'mine' is a possessive pronoun so the possessive apostrophe is superfluous. The correct punctuation is 'This dog is a friend of mine'.

Well perhaps you're right. But sometimes you hear people say "I'm going to the doctor's" and they often leave out "office". If we accept this construction and reject the one with mine's then I guess we're not being consistent.
IvanhrIf we accept this construction and reject the one with mine's then I guess we're not being consistent.
Hi, Ivanhr,
In the two sentences immediately following the two you cite, Bill appears to recant, and allow the construction:
BillJBut when you introduce a secondary possessive, the correct punctuation is 'This is a friend of mine's dog'. If you think about it, it couldn't be punctuated any other way.
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Hi A,

Yes but BillJ only accepts it if it's followed by a noun Emotion: dog. So I presumed that he would accept "the doctor's" only if it's followed by "office".
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