Using ‘OF MINE’ in Conversation

In my previous post, I explored differences between of mine and my. Making the choice to use (noun)of mine constructions will become more comfortable if students are given the chance to hear the grammar in context. One suggestion I have is to take some of the collocations I noted earlier and do a search on YouGlish.

1. Here are search results for “a dream of mine.”
By listening to at least a half dozen of the results, students will learn additional patterns, for example, frequent use of the present perfect and infinitives: It’s always been a dream of mine to give a big talk.

2. You can also search for “a colleague of mine.”
The results illustrate the possibility of naming where or how you made the initial connection, e.g., a colleague of mine at Harvard.

3. After hearing examples of “no child of mine” or “no son of mine,” students should be able to identify the usual tone of conversation: the speaker sounds defensive, protective, or angry: “No son of mine is going to become a chocolatier.” (From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)

For speaking practice, you can consider my suggestions for pair work. See A Dream of Mine_handout.

Asking for your ideas is a habit of mine. (Wink, wink.) If you think of other meaningful ways to put this grammar into use, please share!

Photo credit: Fork in the Road, Fork, Road, Decision by SunflowerGUY. Retrieved from the Public Domain at

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