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4 July

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  • English (US)
Question about English (US)

I'm curious about combination of articles and possessives.
Is each of them valid or invalid?

It's like a snake's shed skin.
It's like snake's shed skin.
He's like a Mike's brother.
He's like Mike's brother.
He's like a my brother.
He's like my brother.

I think possessives connote "belonging to" meaning (as in "ours", "mine", "yours", etc) and "definite article" meaning (as in "the"). Therefore, "He's my friend" connotes "He's the only friend of mine", which is different from "He's a friend of mine". You never say "He's a husband of mine" but you say "He's my husband".

Then, can I think that "a" and a "possessive" are combined in order to cancel the flavor of "definite article" of the possessive? e.g. "It's like a snake's shed skin" means that there are many shed skins of snakes in the world and it is like one of them. Meanwhile, "It's like snake's shed skin" means that it is like the typical shed skin of snakes. Is this understanding correct?

Then, if I have two or more brothers and there's a man who is like one of them, can I say "He's like a my brother", or should I say "He's like a brother of mine?" And, how about "Mike's" instead of "my"?

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  • English (US)

  • English (US)

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  • English (US)

  • Japanese

  • English (US)
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I'm curious about combination of articles and possessives.
Is each of them valid or invalid?

It's like a snake's shed skin.
It's like snake's shed skin.
He's like a Mike's brother.
He's like Mike's brother.
He's like a my brother.
He's like my brother.

I think possessives connote "belonging to" meaning (as in "ours", "mine", "yours", etc) and "definite article" meaning (as in "the").  Therefore, "He's my friend" connotes "He's the only friend of mine", which is different from "He's a friend of mine".  You never say "He's a husband of mine" but you say "He's my husband".

Then, can I think that "a" and a "possessive" are combined in order to cancel the flavor of "definite article" of the possessive?  e.g. "It's like a snake's shed skin" means that there are many shed skins of snakes in the world and it is like one of them.  Meanwhile, "It's like snake's shed skin" means that it is like the typical shed skin of snakes.  Is this understanding correct?

Then, if I have two or more brothers and there's a man who is like one of them, can I say "He's like a my brother", or should I say "He's like a brother of mine?"  And, how about "Mike's" instead of "my"?
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