Grammar Patterns

the N

The 'rich' and 'poor' group

These nouns refer to people who belong to a particular category. Many of them are considered offensive or not correct. Instead of a noun, we usually use an adjective instead, for example elderly people not the elderly, people who are deaf not the deaf, and so on. These words have been marked with an asterisk (*). This is a productive use.
They are all plural nouns, except for accused, deceased, departed, and insured, which are count nouns.
The accused has an unblemished reputation.
Serious food poisoning can be fatal, especially for vulnerable groups such as the sick or the young.
The report highlights the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
According to Mr Portillo, it is wrong for the unemployed to receive money for nothing.
  • able-bodied
  • accused
  • afflicted
  • affluent
  • aged*
  • avant-garde
  • bereaved
  • blind*
  • damned
  • dead
  • deaf*
  • deceased
  • departed
  • devout
  • disabled*
  • disadvantaged
  • dispossessed
  • downtrodden
  • dying
  • elderly*
  • faithful
  • fallen
  • few
  • heathen
  • homeless
  • infirm
  • injured
  • insured
  • jobless
  • lame*
  • landless
  • living
  • lonely*
  • low-paid
  • many
  • meek
  • middle-aged*
  • needy
  • newborn
  • nouveau-riche
  • old*
  • oppressed
  • politically correct
  • poor*
  • privileged
  • rich
  • self-employed
  • sick
  • subnormal*
  • unborn
  • uncommitted
  • underprivileged*
  • uneducated*
  • unemployed*
  • uninitiated
  • unwaged
  • unwary
  • upwardly mobile
  • weak
  • wealthy
  • well-off
  • well-to-do
  • young
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