Skip to main content

DOUBLE GENITIVE

DOUBLE GENITIVE. A term taken from the GRAMMAR of LATIN and used in connection with a noun that is doubly possessed, using both of and either a possessive s or a possessive pronoun: ‘Several neighbours of ours were there’, ‘I've got an umbrella of Rachel's’. The first noun is normally indefinite (not The neighbours of ours) and the second is human and definite (not *an umbrella of a woman's). The structure combines definiteness (ours, Rachel's) and indefiniteness (several, an) in a way not otherwise possible. The forms *several our neighbours and *a Rachel's umbrella are not possible. Compare also a room of my own but not *a my own room. Exceptionally, the first noun can have definite this/these (etc.) in front of it, but does not refer to one or some out of several, as in That extraordinary voice of hers (She has an extraordinary voice) and Those unfortunate mistakes of Neil's (Neil made those mistakes).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"DOUBLE GENITIVE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Mar. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"DOUBLE GENITIVE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/double-genitive

"DOUBLE GENITIVE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved March 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/double-genitive

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.