Tell me please why the speaker ommited the in the following sentence.

I want all to have a share of everything, and everything be in common. There will no longer be either (the) rich or (the) poor.

Was the ommitted because of the word or? If it was, then would the following sentences be correct?

We want to build a country wherein everyone is equal no matter if it is rich or poor.

  • The generic use of nouns may or may not have a definite article (cf. "Lions are ferocious beasts" ~ "The lion is a ferocious beast"). The meaning is the same in both your examples, where "rich" and "poor" are adjectives functioning as fused modifier heads, meaning "(the) rich people" and "(the) poor people". In your last example, "rich or poor" is a straightforward adjective phrase. – BillJ May 7 '18 at 14:07
  • I would change your paraphrase to "...no matter if they are rich or poor" (not "it is"), but I guess that depends on whether the pronoun is referring to the country or to its people. – J.R. May 7 '18 at 14:52
  • I assumed OP did not mean for it to refer back to "country" in no matter if it is rich or poor. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 7 '18 at 17:52

whether rich or poor would be better than no matter if it is rich or poor.

Adjectives can be nominalized. Without the article, rich or poor, the reference is to those distinctions in the abstract. With the definite article, the rich or the poor, the reference is to those groups or classes.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.