Possessive adjectives/pronouns (1)
the my, a your …
A friend of mine died recently after drinking a gallon of varnish. It was a horrible end, but a lovely finish.
✓ A friend of mine told me.
✗ A *my friend* told me.
Me l’ha detto un mio amico.
In English we don’t use articles (a, the) or demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) with possessive adjectives. To translate the Italian un mio, una tua etc. we often use a construction with of + possessive pronoun. For example:
✓ a colleague of mine/yours/his/hers/ours/theirs
✗ a colleague of *my/your/his/her/our/their*
✗ *a my/your/his/our/their* colleague
un mio/tuo/suo/nostro/vostro/loro collega
✓ these friends of mine
✗ *these my* friends
questi miei amici
Instead of mine, yours, his etc. we can say the person and add the possessive 's form:
✓ Hello. My name’s Helen. I’m a friend of Roger’s.
✗ Hello. My name’s Helen. I’m a friend of *Roger*.
Ciao. Mi chiamo Helen. Sono un’amica di Roger.
✓ these friend of my wife's.
queste amiche di mia moglie
Some more examples:
✓ Ok, let’s talk about this idea of yours.
✗ Ok, let’s talk about *this your* idea.
Va bene, parliamo di questa tua idea.
✓ She must like his work. She’s even got an original painting of his.
✗ She must like his work. She’s even got *a his* original painting.
Deve piacerle la sua pittura. Ha addirittura un suo quadro originale.
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