Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
  1. #1
    AlexAD's Avatar
    AlexAD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    632
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    Hello.

    As I was reading an entry for a word in my dictionary, I came across this example:
    'It's impossible to put a figure on the number of homeless people in London'.
    And I just asked myself a question, what is the difference between homeless people and the homless?
    By the way, it seems to be common case in that we can say the British or British people, the rich or rich people, etc. etc.

    Do you feel any difference between those two forms?

    Thanks, Alex.

  2. #2
    mxreader is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    173
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    Hi AlexAD,

    "the homeless" => article + noun
    "homeless people" => Adj. + noun

  3. #3
    AlexAD's Avatar
    AlexAD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    632
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    May I beg to differ as according to the OALD 'homeless' serves as an adjective.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    May I beg to differ as according to the OALD 'homeless' serves as an adjective.
    2. (the homeless) noun [pl] people who have no home: helping the homeless.

    OALD(6th edition), 2000
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    AlexAD's Avatar
    AlexAD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    632
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    I didn't mean the homless, but homeless (without the).

  6. #6
    mxreader is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    173
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    I think it's best to look at it from the structure.... where the word is used, then you can decide what it is used as. In my answer I am referring to the title of your post.

  7. #7
    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
    15,341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    When referring to a disability, there is a PC tendency to object to the 'the X' form (on the grounds that it objectifies or excludes or pigeon-holes people so affected. Until the '70s or '80s it was quite normal to hear things like 'action to help the autistic' - today it's always 'action to help autistic people'.

    b

  8. #8
    AlexAD's Avatar
    AlexAD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    632
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    So is there any difference regarding the original question?

  9. #9
    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
    21,468
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    Your original statement could be phrased in two ways:

    It's impossible to put a figure on the number of homeless people in London.
    It's impossible to put a figure on the number of homeless in London.

    You can also say:

    It's impossible to count the homeless in London.
    It's impossible to count the homeless people in London.

    Effectively, they all mean the same. "The homeless" is simply a collective noun for all the homeless people in a city/country or the whole world, depending on the context. If you use "the number of" you can follow it simply with the word "homeless". If you don't use "the number of" then you need to say "the homeless" or "homeless people".

    If I'm honest, I'm not sure that I'm quite clear exactly what your question is.

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,169
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the + Adj. vs Adj. + people

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    I didn't mean the homless, but homeless (without the).
    So, I don't see why you 'begged to differ'. mxreader's post was short, but to the point.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] adj.
    By atabitaraf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Aug-2011, 09:08
  2. adj.
    By leeannmcelrath in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2010, 01:05
  3. [Grammar] so +adj-adv/ such +a/an+n+adj
    By Roose in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Dec-2009, 18:15
  4. [Grammar] what is the difference between 'adj+to-inf.' and 'adj+ v-ing'
    By wawa97 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 29-Jun-2009, 03:55
  5. Please help with this adj
    By Mehrgan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-May-2009, 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
  •  
Hotchalk