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The preposition Of

A lot of students get confused when we use of because there are three different kinds use Of.
 
Possession
 
English has two ways to show possession when we are talking about who is the owner of the thing.
  • The leg of the chair is broken.
A chair is an object it is not alive but if we are talking about a part in the chair to show possession we use of.
  • The boot of the car is full.
  • The roof of the flat leaks when it rains.
  • Peter is the top of the class.
  • The cat’s leg is broken.
Notice the apostrophe before the 's of cat’s. When we use an apostrophe talking about: person, group of people, organization, country, or an animal.
 
So in the above the cat is an animal like mother is people in the following sentence.
  • My mother’s house is really nice.
It is incorrect to say:
  • The house of my mother is really nice.
Expression of quantity
 
  • A lot of people watch movies.
  • A number of people study Japanese.
  • The zoo has lots of animals.
  • Many of the students hate exams.
  • A great deal of time has been wasted.
  • A majority of cats eat the mice they catch.
  • I like couple of spoons of sugar in my tea.
As always with English there are some exceptions to the rules.
 
Expression of identification
 
  • All students hate getting up early.
In the sentence above we are talking about students in general and not specific student.
  • All of the students hate getting up early.
Using of defines the sentence to be about specific students, a group of students or student we know and therefore not about students in general.
  • Most waitresses expect a tip.
Again we are talking about waitresses in general, all waitresses and not specific waitress.
  • Most of the waitresses in London expect a tip.

 

General
Specific
Almost all my friends are kind.
Almost all of my friends are kind.
Some people like English.
Some of the people like English.
Most teams play good football.
Most of the teams play good football.

 

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