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  1. keannu's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
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      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
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    #1

    The injured were(was) taken to the hospital?

    My grammar book says only "were" is correct in this sentence, it seems to argue because "the+adjective" represents a collective noun, it should denote a plural. But depending on the context, it could be singular or plural, right?
    How can you tell other cases like "the old, the young, the poor, the rich"? They never become singular in any case.

    ex)The injured were(was) taken to the hospital.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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    #2

    Re: The injured were(was) taken to the hospital?

    In pretty much every case, saying "the injured" will refer to more than one person being injured in some kind of accident.

    A bus crashed on the motorway today. The injured were taken to a local hospital.

    A bus crashed on the motorway today. One person was slightly injured and was taken to hospital.

    One person is never referred to as "the injured", he/she would always be called "the injured man/woman/child" etc.

    Don't ask me why. It just is!

  3. riquecohen's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • Brazil

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    #3

    Re: The injured were(was) taken to the hospital?

    I'm in total agreement with emsr, but I just wanted to mention a difference between BrE and AmE. Note that in BrE the definite article is not used in front of hospital, whereas in AmE we always use the, whether or not we know which hospital it is.

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