ENGLISHMiscellaneous English Grammar

Usage of THE + ADJECTIVE

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Some of the adjectives denote human qualities. When the article THE is placed before such an adjective it becomes a plural noun, and therefore takes a plural verb; e.g.

a) the deaf (= deaf people)
b) the disabled (= disabled people)
c) the healthy (= healthy people)
d) the living (= living people)
e) the poor (= poor people)
f) the sick (= sick people)
g) the unemployed (= unemployed people)

i) The rich are not always happy.
ii) The dishonest deserve punishment.
iii) The poor GET poorer; the rich GET richer.

NOTE-I: THE can be used in the same way with national adjectives ending in CH, SH, SE or SS; e.g.

the Dutch, the Spanish, the Welsh, the Burmese, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Swiss [It is possible for these to have a singular meaning.]

NOTE-II: THE + COULOR can be used in the plural to represent people but these take ‘S’ like nouns; e.g.

a) the blacks (= black people)
b) the whites (= white people)

NOTE-III: THE + ADJECTIVE can sometimes have a singular meaning such as, the accused, the unexpected; e.g.

The judge awarded death penalty to THE ACCUSED of the murder case.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

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