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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 1,740

    common, existential - adjective?

    In the `60s, a communal riot shook a certain town. I was surprised, for it was a new settlement growing around a huge industry. The population was largely labourers and officials from all over India. There was no tradition of animosity between communities; they were united by a common existential necessity.
    I think, necessity is a noun. So the `common and existential' both are adjectives individually modifying the noun `necessity'?

    Am I right?

    Please help me.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: common, existential - adjective?

    They are both adjectives and together they are modifying "necessity".

    They can each individually be used to modify it, but the meaning of the phrase will then change.

    "Common necessity" = either a necessity that is the same for all groups or a necessity that is usual.

    "Existential necessity" = a necessity that relates to existence/life.

    "Common existential necessity" = a necessity that has the same relation to existence for all groups.

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