Adjectives used as Nouns :
An Adjective can be used for a Noun for the sake of shortness. The Noun in this case is
sometimes understood and sometimes altogether cancelled.
Examples : Adjectives used as Nouns
1. The Poor…
2. The Sick…
3. In Short…
4. In Brief…
5. On High…
In using a Proper Adjective to denote some language no Article is placed before it and no
Noun is expressed.
1. He speaks English, but not Hindi.
2. The grammar of English is simpler than that of Persian.
But it is correct to say….translated from the French.
Participles (Verbal Adjectives) are sometimes used as Nouns in the Plural Number in the same way as ordinary Adjectives are.
1. He came here with all his belongings (=with all things belonging to him - all his goods and chattels).
2. Let by-gones be by-gones (=let past disagreements be forgotten).
There are certain colloquial or idiomatic phrases in which Adjectives go in pairs - some Noun being understood after them.
Adjectives in Pairs
From bad to worse
He is going from bad to worse (from a bad state to a worse one).
The long and short
The long and short (the sum and substance) of the matter is….
In black and white
Let me see it in black and white (in print - written with black ink on white paper).
Through thick and thin
He stood by his friend through thick and thin (under all conditions - difficult or easy).
From first to last = from the beginning to the end
We have to observe him from first to last.
At sixes and sevens = in a state of confusion and disorder
Owing to the strike, everything in the city is at sixes and sevens.
High and low
He searched for his property high and low (in high places and low ones, everywhere, up and down).
Right or wrong
I intend to do this right or wrong (whether the act is right or not).
For better, for worse
She married you for better, for worse (whether your future lot was good or bad).
Fast and loose
He played fast and loose with her emotions (treated her in a very careless way & showed a lack of sincerity and concern for her feelings).
Black and blue
He beat them black and blue (so as to bring out black and blue marks on the skin).
Right and left
He struck out right and left (to this side and that side).
Slow and steady
Slow and steady (patient and steady progress) wins the race.
For good, for good and all = finally, permanently & for all future consequences, good or evil
They have shifted down to Mumbai for good.
Adjectives preceded by THE
When an Adjective is preceded by the Definite Article, it can be used as a Noun
in the two senses shown below.
(1) As a Common Noun denoting Persons, only, and usually in a Plural sense…
1. None but the brave (=those men who are brave) deserve the fair.
2. To the pure (=those persons who are pure) all things are pure.
3. The blind receive their sight. The lame walk. The dumb speak. The dead are raised up. To the poor the gospel is preached. (New Testament)
(2) As an Abstract Noun (Singular)
The good = that quality which is good = goodness in general
The beautiful = that quality which is beautiful = beauty in general
All the motions of his nature were towards the true, the natural, the sweet, the gentle. (De Quincey)
RELATED PAGES :
- The Adjective
- An Adjective
- Attribute Position of Adjective
- Predicative Position of Adjective
- Kinds of Adjectives
- Proper Adjectives
- Descriptive Adjectives
Quantitative Adjectives ( Adjectives of Quantity )
- Qualitative Adjectives ( Adjectives of Quality )
- Numeral Adjectives ( Adjectives of Number )
- Definite Numeral Adjectives
- Indefinite Numeral Adjectives
- Demonstrative Adjectives ( Demonstrative Adjective )
- Definite Demonstrative Adjectives
- Definite Demonstratives
- Indefinite Demonstrative Adjectives
- Indefinite Demonstratives
- Distributive Adjectives
- Interrogative Adjectives
- Possessive Adjectives
- Possessive Determiners
- First Person Possessive Adjectives
- Second Person Possessive Adjectives
- Third Person Possessive Adjectives
- Emphasizing Adjectives
- Coordinate Adjectives
- Paired Adjectives
- Cumulative Adjectives
- Non-Coordinate Adjectives
- Two Uses of Adjectives
- Attributive Use of Adjectives
- Predicative Use of Adjectives
- The Degrees of Comparison
- Comparison of Adjectives
- Latin Comparatives of Adjectives
- Irregular Comparisons of Adjectives
- Formation of Comparatives and Superlatives
- Formation of Comparative and Superlative
- Uses of Quantitative Adjectives
- Uses of Numeral Adjectives
- Definite Numeral Quantities
- Uses of Demonstrative Adjectives
- Uses of Distributive Phrases
- Uses of Distributive Adjectives
- Example Sentences with suitable Adjectives
- Uses of Degrees of Comparison of Adjectives
- Uses of Positive Degree of Comparison of Adjectives
- Uses of Comparative Degree of Comparison of Adjectives
- Uses of Superlative Degree of Comparison of Adjectives
- Use of The Comparative Degree
- OTHER after Positives and Comparatives
- Preferables in English Grammar
- Double Comparatives
- Double Superlatives
- Comparatives which have lost their force
- Latin Comparatives
- English Comparatives
- Adjectives in Pairs
- Adjectives preceded by THE
- Position of Adjectives
- Adjectives Used Attributively
- Adjectives Used Predicatively
- The Adjective Clause
Adjectives used as Nouns :
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