Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    Hello,
    Is this plural?
    You cannot kill the dead.
    He is one of the good.


    Would it be wrong to say:
    You cannot kill the deads.
    He is one of the goods.


    Are the 1st versions just short forms of:
    You cannot kill the dead (guys).
    He is one of the good (guys).



    Cheers!

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,502
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    Is this plural?
    You cannot kill the dead.
    He is one of the good.


    Would it be wrong to say:
    You cannot kill the deads.
    He is one of the goods.


    Are the 1st versions just short forms of:
    You cannot kill the dead (guys).
    He is one of the good (guys).



    Cheers!
    In those sentences "dead" and "good" are adjectives. Adjectives are never plural. (in English)

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,659
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In those sentences "dead" and "good" are adjectives. Adjectives are never plural. (in English)
    On the other hand, you use the plural verb forms after them:
    The dead don't tell tales. (not "doesn't).
    The poor are always hungry.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,155
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    This has made me think! I don't pretend to be a grammar expert, despite being a teacher, but I would have said that "the dead" and "the good" were collective nouns, not adjectives (obviously I know that dead and good are adjectives!) Interesting!

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,556
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    There's also the fact that 'goods' is a possible noun. So in one (somewhat contrived ) context, this would be possible 'He dealt in all sorts of contraband goods: guns, drugs, people... N [a person] was one of 'the goods'.

    b

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,659
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?


  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,155
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    I'm glad I wasn't going completely mad then!

  8. #8
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    Hello,
    It's I/me (choose what you want ) again.
    Sorry for retrieving the old thread.
    I have another small question although I'm very sure I already know its answer.
    The blue team has 5 blue players.
    So you have to say, "The blue played weakly" , not, "The blues played weakly".
    Well, it should be the same: "The five blue played weakly" , not, "The five blues played weakly".
    I hope I'm right.

    I ask because I read such things very often, things like "The reds were stronger" etc.
    However, many players don't care about grammar when they chat, especially not in games

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    corum is offline Banned
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Hungary
      • Current Location:
      • Hungary
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,121
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    It's I/me (choose what you want ) again.


    It is a bone of contention between prescriptivists and descriptivists. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and say "It is me".

    The English are
    The wise are

    Nightmare, wise and English belong to which (formal) word class? Of course they are adjectives. They are unfaithful adjectives. They are renegades who defy order. They are bad adjectives that give us migraine.

    When Quirk says some (= not all) adjectives can be noun-phrase heads, he cuts word classes some slack. These nominalized adjectives have generic reference and take plural concord.

    Why are these adjectives strange?

    - Adjectives are usually not preceded by a determiner.
    - They do not prompt accord in number with verbs.
    - Adjectives are usually not noun phrase heads.

    We say 'He is wiser', but we do not say 'The wiser are'.
    We say 'He is very wise' and we say 'The very wise are'.
    However, we do not say 'The very English are'.

    The English who like... -- It looks like the relative pronoun has an adjectival antecedent.

    The blue played weakly.
    Remember,

    When Quirk says some (= not all) adjectives can be noun-phrase heads,
    The reds played well.
    The Englishes played well.

    Looks like English follows French, Hungarian, Latin, etc. grammar sometimes in terms of adjective declension.

    Nightmare, you have an extraordinary nose for finding the minefields in English grammar. In your previous life, were you not a detection dog?

    Last edited by corum; 19-Jun-2010 at 07:06.

  10. #10
    mmasny is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,704
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "The dead", "The good" - plural?

    - Adjectives are usually not preceded by a determiner.
    This statement looks very suspicious to me.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Plural names
    By qb1inva in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Jun-2008, 23:05
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-Jan-2007, 00:42
  3. verbs
    By eyescold_07 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Aug-2005, 06:32

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •