Substantive Adjective - 實名詞


Just as nouns can function like adjectives, some adjectives may function as nouns (substantive, 實名詞).  Generally, adjectives that function as substantive are ones that apply to people or things and are preceded by a definite article, such as “the rich and the poor”.  In this case, the adjective functions as a noun rather than modifying one.


For example:


  1. We should always keep in mind to give to the poor ( = the poor people).
  2. The nurse is tending to the sick ( = the sick people).
  3. This is a shelter for the homeless ( = the homeless people).
  4. We should respect the old ( = the old people).
  5. The past ( = The past time) is to be forgotten.
  6. The British ( = The British people) are proud of their heritage.
  7. The present ( = The present time) is only a fleeting moment.    
  8. This is a high-rise ( = a high-rise building).
  9. He speaks the unspeakable ( = the unspeakable words) and shocked everyone.
  10. The good ( = The good people) die young.
  11. In the dark cloudy night, the dead ( = the dead people) will rise.
  12. He has two cars.  His wife drives the red one, while he the blue. ( = the blue car)



1.      You should not eat too many sweets. ( = candies, sweet things)

2.      It is hard to quantify the level of filterable insolubles ( = insoluble deposits) washed from the tube.

3.      I only know some basics ( = basic rules) about driving.

4.      They may be junks to you, but to me, they are all invaluables. ( = invaluable things)


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