I have a question about below sentence:

Diseases common among older people

my problem is why "common" which is an adjective in this sentence has come after the subject "diseases"?

Thanking in advance for your kind consideration.


  • 3
    This is not a complete sentence - there is no verb. Do you have more of it? Is it a heading? Nov 10 '18 at 18:40
  • 1
    It is not the diseases that are common but their occurrence among older people. For example Parkinson's disease is not a common disease generally - 10 million people have it out of 7 billion, but it is commonly suffered by older people. Nov 10 '18 at 18:45
  • 1
    Think of it as diseases (that are) common among older people. Nov 10 '18 at 18:54
  • @chasly from UK, Thank you for your reply. this sentence is a title of the lesson from " oxford word skills" book
    – Sara
    Nov 10 '18 at 19:07
  • 1

You can view the noun phrase "diseases common among older people" as containing a form of elision, where "which are" or "that are" has been dropped. With this knowledge, you could read it as "diseases (that are) common among older people". This also makes it more apparent how "common" is functioning as an adjective to "diseases".

An example of it in a complete sentence is "several diseases common among older people have recently been discovered to be contributing to alzheimer's disease".

  • Good catch. Should I revise that part or just drop it altogether?
    – severen
    Nov 11 '18 at 7:52
  • 1
    In the 1st para I'd change "clause" to either "expression" or "noun phrase", and I'd drop the first two sentences of the second para. But the final sentence is helpful, so worth keeping. :-) Nov 11 '18 at 8:49
  • @Chappo: So a sentence need not contain a clause? Nov 11 '18 at 15:24
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Strictly speaking, a complete sentence must include at least one clause. However, a sentence can also be defined as a meaningful set of words ending in [. or ? or !], in which case if there’s no verb, it can be described as an incomplete sentence or a sentence fragment. Nov 12 '18 at 0:55
  • @Chappo There, changes made. Went with "noun phrase".
    – severen
    Nov 15 '18 at 19:19

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