Dear is a proper name

Helmut and his love (s) in the genitive


I have a different opinion with a friend about the correct use of "his" and "his" in the following sentence, which I built into a poem:

Mr. Miller is then written down
For the good of Helmut and his loved ones

H. disagreed and stood up for "his" loved ones.


Dear Mr. M.,

Your friend is right. Correct is:

for the good of Helmuts and his loved ones

The genitive is called for here:

for whose good?
for the good of Helmuts and
for the good of his loved ones

In the genitive case, without a sentence context, it is not clear whether it is a single female person (his love) or several people(his loved ones) acts, so whether his dear wife or girlfriend resp. his loved ones are meant. But one cannot clarify this obscurity by his instead of his used. Most of the time, the context determines what is meant, and otherwise it has to be rephrased. In this case, I would not find the “obscurity” so indistinct, even if the (further) context does not allow precise conclusions. If Helmut has a special love, it is also one of his loved ones, who certainly like to feel that they are meant a little. And if he doesn't have any, he means the plural anyway. Mathematical precision is seldom required in language.

With best regards

Dr. Bopp

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories General, Conjugation / DeclinationTags Declination, Genitive