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Adjectives used Substantively.
288. Adjectives are often used as Nouns
(substantively), the masculine usually to denote men or
people in general of that kind, the feminine women, and the
neuter things: -
all men (everybody). || omnia, all things (everything)|
ancestors. || minórés,
| Rómání, Romans ||
| líberta, a freedwoman. ||
Sabínae, the Sabine
a sage (philosopher). || amícus, a friend.|
boní, the good (good people). || bona, goods,
NOTE: The plural of adjectives, pronouns, and participles is
very common in this use. The singular is comparatively rare except in the
neuter (§ 289. a, c) and in words
that have become practically nouns.
a. Certain adjectives have become
practically nouns, and are often modified by other adjectives or by the
possessive genitive: -
- tuus vícínus
proximus, your next-door neighbor.
- propinquí céterí, his other relatives.
- meus aequális, a man of my own age.
- êius familiáris
Catilína (Har. Resp. 6), his intimate friend
- Leptae nostrí
familiárissimus (Fam. ix. 13. 2), a very close
friend of our friend Lepta.
b. When ambiguity would arise from the
substantive use of an adjective, a noun must be added: -
- boní, the good;
omnia, everything (all things); but,
- potentia omnium rérum,
power over everything.
c. Many adjectives are used substantively
either in the singular or the plural, with the added meaning of some noun
which is understood from constant association: -
- Áfricus [ventus], the
southwest wind; Iánuárius
[ménsis], January; vitulína [caró], veal (calf's flesh); fera [béstia], a wild
beast; patria [terra], the
fatherland; Gallia [terra], Gaul
(the land of the Gallí); híberna [castra], winter quarters;
trirémis [navís], a
three-banked galley, trireme; argentárius
[faber], a silversmith; régia
[domus], the palace; Latínae
[fériae], the Latin festival.
NOTE: These adjectives are specific in meaning, not
generic like those in § 288.
They include the names of winds and months (§ 31).
For Nouns used as Adjectives, see § 321. c.
For Adverbs used like Adjectives, see § 321. d.