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ESL forum > Ask for help > "From" or "of" ?    

"From" or "of" ?


"From" or "of" ?
Hello everyone.
Could someone tell me which is the best: "she was from an artistic family" or "she was of an artistic family"?
Thanks a lot in advance.

15 Mar 2017      

United Kingdom


15 Mar 2017     


she was from an artistic family

15 Mar 2017     

United Kingdom

For sure from , look at these examples:

15 Mar 2017     


Thanks a lot!

15 Mar 2017     

United Kingdom


Dear Jehanne18,


The previous writers are, in my opinion, correct.


“She was from an artistic family”


In the ‘Oxford Dictionary of English, 2005’, the word ‘from’, (preposition), is described in 11 different categories.


In very general terms, (among other descriptions), it describes ‘from’ as a starting point, a beginning, an origin.


3. Indicating the source or provenance of someone or something: “I’m from Hackney”.


My own examples. “She was from France”.  “She was from a very talented group of students”. She was from an Arab background”. “She was from a working-class family, and was extremely intelligent”.  “She was from a very good-looking people/race/tribe and was beautiful, just like her mother”. “She was from a family of doctors”.


The word ‘of’, (preposition), is described in 9 different categories.


In very general terms, (among other descriptions), ‘of’ describes the relationship between one thing and another.

The nearest to the sentence given that I can see are:


3. Indicating an association between two entities, typically one of belonging, in which the first is the head of the phrase and the second is something associated with it: “The son of a friend”. “The government of India”.


8. Indicating the material or substance constituting something: “The house was built of bricks”. “A house of stone”.


In my opinion, ‘of’ WAS used quite often in the past in sentences such as this, especially in poetic or literary situations.


My examples: “She came of a good family”. “He was of farming stock”. “The horse was of a good pedigree”.


In my youth, I heard and read examples such as these, and they can still be seen in Victorian writing. However, in my opinion, such expressions are old-fashioned and not used very often nowadays. They are not colloquial. They sound out-of-date, snobbish, and pompous. But some people still use them!


I agree with the previous excellent contributions.


“She was from an artistic family”


Les Douglas

15 Mar 2017     


Oh my! Les is back! It ´s great to be able to read your ever so informative pots again:)

15 Mar 2017     


Excellent explanation, Les, and a BIG welcome back to the land of eslprintables. We missed you!
On the subject of the post, you are completely correct. Of was, and is still occasionally, used. But nowadays from is the common everyday usage.  I hear of still used in some British TV shows, usually by people of the upper classes, and yes it does sound snobbish and pompous. 

15 Mar 2017