Of… of… of… of… – How to bring to equilibrium?

Of is a very useful and multi-purpose preposition but sometimes, while doing my essay-writing exercises, I am tempted to use of… of… of… of… and the sentence becomes rather overburdened and tangled.
At present my personal record is 4 ofs in a row but as I feel I could do more :slight_smile:

The simplest example (just to illustrate my question on a ‘good style’) is with possessive form:

This is the most favourite toy of the dog of Mike[’s?] .
This is the most favourite toy of the Mike’s dog.
This is Mike’s dog’s favourite toy. (or, maybe ‘adjective’s first’ and it should be: This is the most favourite Mike’s dog’s toy. ?)

Which is better - in this particular case?
How much ‘of in-a-row’ do you use normally - two? three? ? When speaking? When writing (…formally, informally) ?
Could you generally recommend me a rule of thumb to follow it and not to overburden my sentences?


Hi Tamara

I’d definitely prefer This is Mike’s dog’s favourite toy. :smiley:
The other sentences simply make it sound like you don’t know how to use the possessive “'s”.

By the way, you shouldn’t say “recommend me”. I’d simply omit the “me” in your sentence.
You only need to include that kind of information if people won’t otherwise know who receives the recommendation. And then you need to say “to me” (to us, to him, etc.).
Jane recommended that hotel to him.


Hi Amy! Hi Tamara!

This reminds me to fetch away my wife?s dog?s friend?s toy?s rests. :lol:



Oh, yes. Now I have a new route to go… and new challenge :smiley:

Thank you, Amy, for your recommendation to me concerning / (could I use of here? :slight_smile: ) use of ‘recommend to me’ :slight_smile:

But does it mean that She recommended me a good dictionary. is not correct?


Hi Tamara

No, that sentence is NOT correct.
(The word “to” is missing and “to me” should be placed after ‘dictionary’.)

You should not say “She recommended me” unless you want to say something like this:

She recommended me for the job.
She recommended me to the company.

In these 2 sentences the company received the recommendation and the recommendation was that they should hire me. :smiley:

Directly after the word recommend, you should have the recommendation itself.

Yes, you could use that nice little word of as a possessive in combination with ‘recommendation’: :lol:
“Based on the recommendation of the travel agency, we went to Grand Cayman” = “Based on the travel agency’s recommendation, we went to Grand Cayman.”


Amy, thanks a lot for that, indeed!
In informal conversations around me, I often happen to hear something like ‘What would you recommend me [to buy, to read, …]’.
I’ll be more careful with borrowing phrases from the street air.

I’ve got it. The same difference is in my first language, where it is expressed by using different cases ( dative or accusative, in these… cases :))


Hi Tamara

Yes, informal English can be very different… But you’ve got me curious about possible British differences. When you hear “What would you recommend me?”,
do you hear the sentence exactly that way? Or have you also heard the longer version? --> “What do you recommend me to buy?


Amy, I could’t put my head for cutting it off for wide use of the above in Britain, but definitely I hear
What would you recommend me [to buy,…]? exactly. Quite often and not only in shops.