"The dead", "The good" - plural?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Nightmare85

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
German
Home Country
Germany
Current Location
Germany
Hello,
Is this plural?
You cannot kill the dead.
He is one of the good.


Would it be wrong to say:
You cannot kill the deads.
He is one of the goods.
:?:

Are the 1st versions just short forms of:
You cannot kill the dead (guys).
He is one of the good (guys).

:?:

Cheers!
 

bhaisahab

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Ireland
Hello,
Is this plural?
You cannot kill the dead.
He is one of the good.


Would it be wrong to say:
You cannot kill the deads.
He is one of the goods.
:?:

Are the 1st versions just short forms of:
You cannot kill the dead (guys).
He is one of the good (guys).

:?:

Cheers!
In those sentences "dead" and "good" are adjectives. Adjectives are never plural. (in English)
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
In those sentences "dead" and "good" are adjectives. Adjectives are never plural. (in English)
On the other hand, you use the plural verb forms after them:
The dead don't tell tales. (not "doesn't).
The poor are always hungry.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
This has made me think! I don't pretend to be a grammar expert, despite being a teacher, but I would have said that "the dead" and "the good" were collective nouns, not adjectives (obviously I know that dead and good are adjectives!) Interesting!
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
There's also the fact that 'goods' is a possible noun. So in one (somewhat contrived ;-)) context, this would be possible 'He dealt in all sorts of contraband goods: guns, drugs, people... N [a person] was one of 'the goods'.

b
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
I'm glad I wasn't going completely mad then!
 

Nightmare85

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
German
Home Country
Germany
Current Location
Germany
Hello,
It's I/me (choose what you want :-D) again.
Sorry for retrieving the old thread.
I have another small question although I'm very sure I already know its answer.
The blue team has 5 blue players.
So you have to say, "The blue played weakly" :tick:, not, "The blues played weakly". :cross:
Well, it should be the same: "The five blue played weakly" :tick:, not, "The five blues played weakly". :cross:
I hope I'm right. :)

I ask because I read such things very often, things like "The reds were stronger" etc.
However, many players don't care about grammar when they chat, especially not in games ;-)

Cheers!
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
It's I/me (choose what you want ) again.

11.gif


It is a bone of contention between prescriptivists and descriptivists. When in Rome, do as the Romans do and say "It is me".

The English are
The wise are

Nightmare, wise and English belong to which (formal) word class? Of course they are adjectives. They are unfaithful adjectives. They are renegades who defy order. They are bad adjectives that give us migraine.

When Quirk says some (= not all) adjectives can be noun-phrase heads, he cuts word classes some slack. These nominalized adjectives have generic reference and take plural concord.

Why are these adjectives strange?

- Adjectives are usually not preceded by a determiner.
- They do not prompt accord in number with verbs.
- Adjectives are usually not noun phrase heads.

We say 'He is wiser', but we do not say 'The wiser are'.
We say 'He is very wise' and we say 'The very wise are'.
However, we do not say 'The very English are'.

The English who like... -- It looks like the relative pronoun has an adjectival antecedent. :shock:

The blue played weakly. :cross:

Remember,

When Quirk says some (= not all) adjectives can be noun-phrase heads,

The reds played well. :tick:
The Englishes played well. :cross:

Looks like English follows French, Hungarian, Latin, etc. grammar sometimes in terms of adjective declension.

Nightmare, you have an extraordinary nose for finding the minefields in English grammar. In your previous life, were you not a detection dog? :)

1171325877_hoyre_500.jpg
 
Last edited:

mmasny

Key Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
- Adjectives are usually not preceded by a determiner.
This statement looks very suspicious to me.
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
This statement looks very suspicious to me.

I meant determiners that hinge on adjectives and not head-nouns. If you still suspect something, give me an example other than 'the French'. ;-)
 

mmasny

Key Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
What are head-nouns?
Examples:
He's the bad guy here.
There are many wise people out there.

The determiners precede adjectives in both.
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
Examples:
He's the bad guy here.
There are many wise people out there.

'the' determines the reference of 'guy' and not 'bad'. Adjectives usually have no referent.

'many' quantifies 'people' and not 'wise'. 'wise' is not quantifiable.

The determiners precede adjectives in both.

True, but you did not understand my previous post. They do not hinge on the noun of which the noun phrase is a kind.
 

mmasny

Key Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
That's right. So you meant quantifying rather then preceding, have I got it?
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
That's right. So you meant quantifying rather then preceding, have I got it?

No, I meant determiners that qualify adjectives. ;-) Qualify and quantify: they are different concepts.
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
All determiners qualify, but not all qualifying determiners quantify. Quantify is a sub-set of Qualify.
 

mmasny

Key Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
True, but you did not understand my previous post. They do not hinge on the noun of which the noun phrase is a kind.
I did actually guess what you meant. First, I just wanted to correct the word precede you used. Then, I realized I weren't sure what word you'd want. And then I thought that there may be a grammatical idea of precession that I have no idea of. I didn't want to make a fool of myself so I asked this way :oops:
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
No, you were okay. I should have been more precise.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top