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mixed opinions about this

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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mixed opinions about this

Post by davidtrinh » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:05 am

Last week, I discussed these sentences with my friends. They had different opinions about them.

(1) The certificate John received yesterday recognized his completion of the cooking course.

(2) The certificate John received yesterday recognized the completion of his cooking course.

Some of my friends said, "In (1a), he completed the course himself. It's his completion. You can't say it's his course because it belongs to the school. The school is the one that designs, administers and offers it to him."

My other friends argued, "In (1b), it's correct to say his course because he took it and owned it until he finished it. It's wrong to say his completion because you can't own your completion."

Who's right? Please give me your feedback. Thanks.

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Re: mixed opinions about this

Post by Alan » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:58 pm

(1) is correct, although 'his course' is perfectly possible. A possessive pronoun does not imply merely legal ownership.