+0
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)
1 2 3 4 5
Comments  (Page 3) 
Anyway I found this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genitive_case#Double_genitive

This use of the possessive is called "double genitive", "oblique genitive", or "double possessive".
Yoong LiatCould you elaborate why the one with "mine's" doesn't bother you? Do you mean that in speech and in writing it is OK?
I mean that expressions like a friend of mine's (dog, house, ...) sound correct to my ear, not that they are considered correct by grammarians. I don't know what the grammar textbooks say about them.

In contrast, expressions like a friend of his's (dog, house, ...) sound wrong to my ear.

CJ
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Thanks, CJ.

Like GG, it is incorrect to me. I cannot find "mine's" in BNC or in my dictionaries.

Below is the usage of the word given by Collins Cobuild Dictionary and Longman Dictionary respectively.

Mine is the first person singular possessive pronoun. A speaker or writer uses mine to refer to something that belongs or relates to himself or herself.
Her right hand is inches from mine...
I'm looking for a friend of mine who lives here.

I want you to meet an old friend of mine.
Yoong LiatA speaker or writer uses mine to refer to something that belongs or relates to himself or herself.
So, this is correct : This dog belongs to a friend of mine. Emotion: dog
Yoong LiatI want you to meet an old friend of mine.
The definition of "friend" doesn't describe how to form the possessive, but we can still say "This is my friend's dog."
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Avangi
Yoong LiatI want you to meet an old friend of mine.
The definition of "friend" doesn't describe how to form the possessive, but we can still say "This is my friend's dog."
This is my friend's dog" is OK to me. IMHO, the "mine's" version is not acceptable in writing.
I think what we're all looking for is an authoritative (i.e., prescriptive) source that states as a rule of grammar that double genitives cannot be made possessive. So far, no one has found it. Emotion: smile

CJ
What is Peter doing with that dog?
Oh, it's a friend of his's.

What is Miranda doing with that dog?
Oh, it's a friends of hers's.

What are you doing with that dog?
It's a friend of mine's.

Are we all in agreement that the top two would never be used?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Grammar GeekAre we all in agreement that the top two would never be used?
I think so, but never is a really long time! Emotion: big smile

In any case, I'm in on that agreement.

CJ
Show more