genitive

English translation: My grandfather is a great fan of Orwell/Orwell's/Orwell's work or a great Orwell fan

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:genitive, e.g. My grandfather is a great fan of Orwell
English translation:My grandfather is a great fan of Orwell/Orwell's/Orwell's work or a great Orwell fan
Entered by: Vicky Papaprodromou
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16:41 Oct 25, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics
English term or phrase: genitive
My granddady is a great fan of Orwell. fine
But...

Can I use the genitive in this case and say, "My granddady is a great Orwell's fan". I think I can't, it sounds awkward to me. Though I think it's possible to say "My granddady is Orwell's fan".
Lakasa Stnorden
Local time: 18:42
a great fan of Orwell (/Orwell's work)
Explanation:
Your thoughts are absolutely right.

The adjective ("great") makes the difference.

So you can say:

"He is a great fan of Orwell."
or
"He is a great fan of Orwell's work/novels/books."
or
"He is Orwell's fan".


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Note added at 34 mins (2005-10-25 17:16:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The reason is that a possessive adjective (or a phrase in the place of a possessive adjective (my/your/his/her/our/their or possessive phrase in the place of the possessive adjective = Orwell's in your case) should come immediately after the verb and has the meaning of a definite article (the = this specific one). When you have an indefinite article (a/an) following the verb, you have to use a possessive pronoun (mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs or a possessive phrase instead of a pronoun = of Orwell in your case) and the pronoun.

To give you a simpler example: "This is my book" (this specific book among others) but "This is a book of mine" (this is one of my books).
Selected response from:

Vicky Papaprodromou
Greece
Local time: 00:42
Grading comment
Many thanks!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +11a great fan of Orwell (/Orwell's work)
Vicky Papaprodromou
3 +6My grandpa (or granddaddy) is a great Orwell-fan.
Derek Gill Franßen
5 +2My Granddady is one of Orwell's greatest fans
airmailrpl
5NOT FOR GRADING
transparx
4Orwell's fan or a fan of Orwell or an Orwell fan
Jane Lamb-Ruiz


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
My grandpa (or granddaddy) is a great Orwell-fan.


Explanation:
"My grandpa is Orwell's fan." would also work (IMHO).

"My granddady is a great Orwell's fan." won't work (IMHO).

:-)

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Note added at 6 mins (2005-10-25 16:47:14 GMT)
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BTW "Orwell fan" is probably better without the hyphen (I'm never sure). ;-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 mins (2005-10-25 16:47:47 GMT)
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Also see http://www.google.com/search?hl=de&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-29,GGL...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2005-10-25 16:49:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry to keep rambling, but if you want to use the possessive, you could use something like "My grandpa is Orwell's greatest fan." (which would probably be the most natural sounding).

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 23:42
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty: Orwell fan is better without the hyphen.
6 mins
  -> Yes, exactly - I realized that after posting... ;-)

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou: I like "Orwell fan" (not hyphenated, of course). Cheers, Derek!
11 mins
  -> That's very kind of you - thank you Vicky! :-)

agree  Armorel Young: definitely without the hyphen. But this type of usage is fine - plenty more examples such as "He's a Liverpool supporter" or "He's a classical music fan".
1 hr
  -> I thought it was fine too. Thank you Armorel (I've got to re-learn the rules of hyphenation). ;-)

agree  Dave Calderhead: Count me in - also without the hyphen (:-{)>
1 hr
  -> Thank you Dave. I'll try to never forget omitting it again - I promise. ;-o

agree  transparx
15 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
2 days 18 hrs
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
My Granddady is one of Orwell's greatest fans


Explanation:
My Granddady is a great fan of Orwell => "My Granddady is one of Orwell's greatest fans."

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 18:42
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 32

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Emilie: Sounds the old, good English I learned a long time ago...
4 mins
  -> thank you

agree  Will Matter: This is also good.
3 hrs

neutral  Ken Cox: personally, I would only use this with reference to a living person
6 hrs

neutral  transparx: as far as i can see, there's no reason to change "great" to "greatest" in order to rescue the sentence.
15 hrs
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +11
a great fan of Orwell (/Orwell's work)


Explanation:
Your thoughts are absolutely right.

The adjective ("great") makes the difference.

So you can say:

"He is a great fan of Orwell."
or
"He is a great fan of Orwell's work/novels/books."
or
"He is Orwell's fan".


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 34 mins (2005-10-25 17:16:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The reason is that a possessive adjective (or a phrase in the place of a possessive adjective (my/your/his/her/our/their or possessive phrase in the place of the possessive adjective = Orwell's in your case) should come immediately after the verb and has the meaning of a definite article (the = this specific one). When you have an indefinite article (a/an) following the verb, you have to use a possessive pronoun (mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs or a possessive phrase instead of a pronoun = of Orwell in your case) and the pronoun.

To give you a simpler example: "This is my book" (this specific book among others) but "This is a book of mine" (this is one of my books).

Vicky Papaprodromou
Greece
Local time: 00:42
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Many thanks!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio
3 mins
  -> Ôhanks, Ruth!

agree  Carlos Ortiz
39 mins
  -> Thanks, Carlos!

agree  Freimanis
40 mins
  -> Thank you so much!

agree  Derek Gill Franßen: Good explanation of the possessive phrase - I was about to give it a shot, but it wouldn't have been half as clear. Shouldn't it be "of mine, yours, his, hers etc." in the last sentence? Either way, your example makes it crystal clear (IMHO). :-)
2 hrs
  -> Ôhanks, Derek!

agree  izy
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Izy!

agree  Tony M: Yes, there's no question of 'genitive' here
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Dusty!

agree  Will Matter
3 hrs
  -> Thank you so much!

agree  Saiwai Translation Services
8 hrs
  -> Ôhanks a lot!

agree  transparx
15 hrs
  -> Thank you so much!

agree  Tania Marques-Cardoso
22 hrs
  -> Ôhanks a lot!

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
1 day 21 hrs
  -> Çi Marju. Thank you so much! :-)
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
NOT FOR GRADING


Explanation:
Hi Dejaus,
just a note to support the answers and add some clarification (since you have explicitly asked).

You ask: The reason why it is not possible to use "a great orwell's fan" is that the adjective "great" is too far (or separated) from "fan". Am I right?

Both Ruth and Vicky are correct, but you're not wrong, either. Among the many tests used in syntax, three often come in very handy: substitution, pronominalization, and questioning. In your case, the first two overlap.

1) substitution/pronominalization:
"My granddady is a great his fan". [incorrect]
2) questioning:
"Whose fan is my granddady a great of?" [incorrect]
As you can easily see, both tests fail, hence the sentence is syntactically unacceptable.

Is "great" too far from "fan"? Indeed.
In syntax we say that "Orwell's," a phrase in its own right, illegitimately intervenes between "great" and "fan." "Fan" is the head of the phrase "a great fan;" "great" is its modifier. You could have "Orwell" as a modifier, too, as Derek proposes, but not as a freestanding phrase. "Orwell's" just happens to be short, but keep in mind that, in principle, a (freestanding) phrase can be very long. Syntax does not like that. Short or long, such a phrase simply "breaks" the phrase (a great fan) in which it was inserted. As a result, if anything, it must be dislocated to the right, as Vicky suggests.




transparx
United States
Local time: 17:42
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 8
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1 day 0 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Orwell's fan or a fan of Orwell or an Orwell fan


Explanation:
My grandaddy is Orwell's fan is odd in that it suggests he knows him.
COnsider:
My grandaddy is Orwell's brother....see? sounds like their is a kinshp relationship there...it also suggests that your grandaddy belongs to Orwell rather than to someone else...like a thing..

to avoid the "thing" or "kinship" meaning,

we use: My grandaddy is a fan of Orwell, or an Orwell fan have the same meaning but different grammar...

so, a great fan of Orwell or a great Orwell fan

you can't have a genitive with another adjective when the adjective's semantic meaning is possession..

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 8
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