Literary Discourse: Collective Adjective

Introduction
Collective Nouns are largely known to (many) speakers of English as a Second Language. Dear reader, do you know COLLECTIVE ADJECTIVES too? Hahahahaa! Probably no, but certainly you do use them appropriately. What is then a Collective Adjective? How is it applied? What are its characteristics? Answers to these questions constitute the learning outcomes of today’s edition of Literary Discourse.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this discourse, fellow learners and readers should be able to understand:

  • Collective Adjective
  • Proper application of Collective Adjective
  • Characteristics of Collective Adjective.

Collective Adjective
This is a combination of the definite article “the” and any adjective to describe a class or a distinct group of people. Examples: The poor, the rich, the strong, the intelligent, the hardworking. To maximize understanding, we need to put the adjectives in illustrative sentences:

  • THE POOR in Dagbon still have reasons to celebrate the happiness of life.
  • Tungteeya and Tiyumba are among THE RICH of our times.
  • In a society of injustice, THE STRONG are always right.
  • THE INTELLIGENT at Batangyili College of Creative Arts have won awards.
  • THE HARDWORKING in the Mole Dagbon Literary Forum have emerged winners of the debate organized by the Northern Students’ Union.

Characteristics of Collective Adjective
As a special lexical item, Collective Adjective has certain characteristics:

  • It is always preceded by the definite article “the.”
  • It is always treated as plural – referring to a group of people.
  • It always shifts from adjective to noun in terms of meaning and usage.
  • Its plurality is NOT determined by the “S” morpheme of plurality. In other words, “s” is not added to it to make it plural.

Conclusion
Conclusively, we appeal to fellow learners and readers NOT to CONFUSE Collective Nouns with Collective Adjectives. It is instructive to observe that at all times Collective Adjectives take plural verbs in concord (subject – verb agreement), as they are deemed plural nouns of adjectival ancestry.

Abubakar Mohammed MarzuqAzindoo, Acting Registrar, Hudaibiya College, Accra

Email: [email protected] Tel: 0244755402


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