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  1. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #1

    Do they refer to an individual or a group?

    Before I've learned that the form of "the" added with certain adjectives usually refer to a group of people with certain features, like "the rich" and " the poor". Well, do they also refer to an individual of the same kind?
    I found in a book such an exercise:
    Ken succeeded in finding the guilty (person who has done something wrong) and protecting the innocent (person who has not done anything wrong).
    Here do "the guilty" and "the innocent" refer to a group or an individual or both? And does it mean that the form of "the" added with adjectives also refer to an individual?

  2. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do they refer to an individual or a group?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    In this case, "the guilty" refers to a group as does, "the innocent". For this to refer to people it would have to be made clear - "...finding the guilty party and protecting the innocent bystander."

    I can't understand you. Do "the + adj." (without more words) usually refer to a group of people or just an individual? I

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Do they refer to an individual or a group?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Before I've learned that the form of "the" added with certain adjectives usually refer to a group of people with certain features, like "the rich" and " the poor". Well, do they also refer to an individual of the same kind?
    I found in a book such an exercise:
    Ken succeeded in finding the guilty (person who has done something wrong) and protecting the innocent (person who has not done anything wrong).
    Here do "the guilty" and "the innocent" refer to a group or an individual or both? And does it mean that the form of "the" added with adjectives also refer to an individual?
    That's not a good sentence. "the" + adj. refers to groups of people. Where did you get that sentence?

    By the way, you can't write, "Before I've learned ..." for two reasons.
    1. You don't use an adverb of time with the present perfect. The relevant time for the present perfect is the present - now. Now, you are in a state of having learned ... If you want to use a time reference from the past, you need to use a past tense.

    2. You need a comma after "before".
    If you don't use a comma, it's a dependent clause: "Before I learned how to use it correctly, I used to make mistakes." The first clause is not a sentence.
    "Before, I learned how to use it correctly". This is a grammatical - though not likely - sentence.

  4. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Do they refer to an individual or a group?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    That's not a good sentence. "the" + adj. refers to groups of people. Where did you get that sentence?

    By the way, you can't write, "Before I've learned ..." for two reasons.
    1. You don't use an adverb of time with the present perfect. The relevant time for the present perfect is the present - now. Now, you are in a state of having learned ... If you want to use a time reference from the past, you need to use a past tense.

    2. You need a comma after "before".
    If you don't use a comma, it's a dependent clause: "Before I learned how to use it correctly, I used to make mistakes." The first clause is not a sentence.
    "Before, I learned how to use it correctly". This is a grammatical - though not likely - sentence.
    Thank you for your correction. I don't know when I formed such a wrong habit of connecting "before" with the present perfect tense.
    That sentence is from an English textbook named"Oxford English", intended for junior school students. Now I can get rid of my doubt about the real meaning of "the + adj."

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