On Collins dictionary, one of the meanings of "sad" is: "If you describe someone as sad, you do not have any respect for them and think their behavior or ideas are ridiculous.", and it says that it is usually used before nouns in this meaning. So since it says it is usually used before nouns, is it wrong if I say like "Man... You people are sad." to some people for meaning that I despise them? Does it mean that I find them saddening instead? I think what I mean can be understood from the context. Am I right? Also, do you agree with that it is usually used before nouns instead of after nouns in this meaning?

You can see the Collins Dictionary definitions here: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/sad The one I am referring to is the forth definition.

  • In you people are sad, sad comes after a verb not a noun . . . (At least directly. You might want to be more specific in your question.) Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 18:39
  • @Jason Bassford In dictionaries, sentences like "He is good" and "He is sad" are shown as [NOUN adjective], and sentences like "He is a good man" and "He is a sad man" are shown as [ADJECTIVE noun]. Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 18:45
  • That's true, and I didn't say anything different . . . Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 18:51
  • @Jason Bassford Thanks. And, can I say the sentence I gave in my post for meaning that I despise them? Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 19:21
  • It can be used as a slang expression. It depends on the context. (It can also be used to mean exactly what sad people means.) It is, however, still an adjectival phrase, and not an adverb. Also, I would not interpret the slang sad to mean "despised"; instead, I would say it means "pitiable." Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


Your interest in the usage of "Sad" is very topical as it has been commandeered since it's one of Donald Trump's favorites to use in the Twittersphere.

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If you wanted to say someone was saddening, you might say

You are depressing.


The situation is heartbreaking.

  • Thanks. So, then it can quite often be used after nouns too. By the way, I am living in a dictatorship and imgur is banned here. So, I can't reach those links. Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 18:51
  • No. Please go back and read Jason Bradford's comment. Adjectives precede the noun modified unless you have a noun verb adjective form. Furthermore, the use of "sad" in the sense that you are discussing is highly colloquial in the US and, in that particular sense, has little to do with the word "saddening." Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 18:55
  • @FireandIce it’s about the pattern, not the actual text. Trump’s pattern is “<Some statement, possibly unfounded.> Sad!”
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 22:05

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