1-They saw him carrying away the murdered.
Can we be sure here that there is more than one murder victim?
2-He was consoling the defeated.
Can we be sure here that there is more than one person who has been defeated?
3-He was consoling the sad.
Can we be sure here that there is more than one person who is sad?
Last edited by navi tasan; 21-Feb-2011 at 14:11.
While I have no problem with the second and third, I can't make the first sound natural.
Does it sound so to you, 5jj?
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
Actually, they all sound a little odd to me, the first most of all. But, as bhai says, they are correct, so I can't object to them, I cannot imagine myself saying or writing them.
I am not a teacher.
They are technically right, but normally we use the generic noun that way more, well, generically. A good Christian is supposed to visit the sick. The Dead Kennedys wanted us to "Kill the Poor". The meek shall inherit the earth. In your sentences, the generic refers to one specific group described by the adjective. That sounds rather weird to me except in certain cases. We can be tending the wounded, for example, after a battle, but we can't be consoling the defeated so much. To my ear.