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Question
Dear Ted:

Is the following sentence acceptable in formal English?

My mother's sister's husband is a decent man.

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is the following sentence acceptable in formal English?

My mother's sister's husband is a decent man.

*** Yes, it is.  I always mess up these "family relations," but I think that the
sentence is referring to your mother's brother-in-law.

I hope I'm right!

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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