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From tribune.com:

We will prevent Saudi help in the building or financing of mosques in Germany where Wahhabi ideas are to be disseminated,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

I know we can use noun as adjective whenever we want, for example "boy-style", so is "Saudi" an adjective describing "help" here? But this is a bit strange to me, is this common or normal?

Or is it a typo of "prevent Saudi helping in the building" or "prevent Saudi's help in the building"?

  • No, it modifies the elided noun "Arabia" or "Arabian." – CodeGnome Dec 6 '15 at 17:43
  • @CodeGnome It is not really an elision of "Arabian". By itself, "Saudi" is synonymous with "Saudi Arabian". – Nihilist_Frost Dec 6 '15 at 23:23
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Yes,

Saudi is an adjective:

adjective
of or relating to Saudi Arabia or its inhabitants

--Collins Dictionary. See also 18 other dictionary results.

The definition and example sentences in Oxford should suffice to show that its usage is common and normal:

adjective
Relating to Saudi Arabia or its ruling dynasty.

Example sentences
Until 1964, Saudi girls were not allowed to go to school.

According to the movie, these Saudi investors own about 7 percent of the U.S. economy.

As a new rule, all Saudi visitors to the US are interviewed, fingerprinted and photographed upon arrival.

It is also a noun.

  • "Saudi" is both a noun and an adjective. Your answer really doesn't help the OP understand its use in the sentence, though. – CodeGnome Dec 6 '15 at 17:45
  • Oh really @CodeGnome, can you read the OP's mind? – user20792 Dec 6 '15 at 17:46
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Whether or not it's strictly grammatical, a lot of Americans hear "Saudi" as an adjective that modifies "Arabia" or "Arabian." As a result, it's fairly common to elide the noun, even in semi-formal speech such as newscasts.

There are certainly other ways to look at this particular sentence construct, but as a native speaker I would recommend hearing it as:

We will prevent Saudi (Arabian) help...

rather than trying to apply more complex grammatical rules.

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