Should the adjective "local" get the noun that it describes?

I mean to ask if I should say:

We are local.

or we should say:

We are local + people / residents etc.


It would be idiomatic to say We are locals or We're locals. It means "we live around here" or "we are from this place, we're not visitors".

We're local means "We live near that place [just mentioned]".

  • If you say "locals" it neans that the word ** 'local' ** can be a noun. But in cambridge dictionary it doesn't appear as a noun but as a adjective only. How can it be explain? – Judicious Allure Mar 6 '18 at 15:30
  • It can be explained by the simple fact that not every adjective which can be used as a noun will appear in every dictionary. See the definition for the noun local here: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/local or here: ldoceonline.com/dictionary/local – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 6 '18 at 15:31

I hear

We are local residents.

A lot.

That being said, there are conversational situations where saying we are local works.

For example

Nice to meet you, where are you from? I'm (I am) local.


I live locally.

As for

We are local residents.

I imagine this being more of something you'd use in writing and less in conversation, but certainly it can be used anyway and is proper.


We are local residents to the state of Idaho.

As local residents, we find the statue to be most concerning and offensive.

As I mentioned, there may be some different context where these sentences are used, but generally your idea will be conveyed with either of them.


The word to be is a copular verb (there's a few others).

This means the "object" of to be X can be an adjective.

Technically, X is a complement--objects are one type of complement, subject complements and predicate nominatives are two other types. Copular verbs take complements of the other two types.

So, we are local - local is an adjective and is just fine.

We are local people is also fine - but people is only strictly necessary if you believe the listener/reader doesn't know we would mean people already.

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