the wife of one of my father's cousins

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the wife of one of my father's cousins

Post by navi » Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:42 pm

Which are correct:

1) The wife of one of my father's cousins is very tall.


2) One of my father's cousins' wife is very tall.
3) One of my father's cousins' wives is very tall.

4) My father's cousin's wife is very tall.


Could one use '4' instead of the other ones, or does it necessarily imply that my father has only one cousin?

Gratefully,
Navi
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Re: the wife of one of my father's cousins

Post by Phil White » Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:12 pm

Only sentence 1 sounds in any way natural.

Bear in mind, I do not read your posts. I listen to them. I cannot hear apostrophes. Only when I cannot understand what is going on do I actually look for apostrophes.

In sentence 2, it sounded to me as if you had two fathers, which is unlikely. If you had two fathers in a same-sex partnership, they would not have wives.

And sentence 3 suggested to me not only that you had two fathers, but that the cousin concerned had several wives.

Sentence 4 is probably okay, but implies that your father only has one cousin.

But it is always natural and clearer to get the actual subject (the wife) up to the front of the sentence: "The wife of ...".
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: the wife of one of my father's cousins

Post by tony h » Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:39 pm

I would get rid of the apostrophes. "The wife of a cousin of my father is very tall".
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I'm puzzled therefore I think.

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