The warning came as hospitals in Gaza struggled to treat masses of wounded with dwindling resources, and health officials in the Hamas-ruled territory said the death toll was soaring as Israeli jets continued striking the territory overnight into Wednesday.From APnews

I've learned the wounded means people who are injured. I wonder why there is no "the" but an adjective following a preposition in the sentence.

  • 2
    In the cited context, it's almost entirely arbitrary whether to include the article or not. But note that we're more likely to refer to the wounded in contexts where we might expect a lot of wounded people - which is normally, wounded soldiers in the context of a full-blown war between nation-states. So at least some writers might balk at including the here because it very slightly elevates the "status" of the conflict between Israel and Hamas by implying that Hamas are credible representatives of a nation state, capable of engaging in a (relatively) civilized "war". Oct 25, 2023 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


It follows other patterns in English: swarms of bees, flocks of birds, or masses of wounded (as in wounded people).

  • Bees and birds aren't closely comparable to wounded. Look at "village of the damned", "land of the free" and "home of the brave".
    – Stuart F
    Nov 24, 2023 at 16:24

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