Source: http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-says-30-pro-russian-insurgents-killed-071845546.html

Avakov said Monday that pro-Russia forces in Slovyansk, a city of 125,000, were deploying large-caliber weapons and mortars in the region and there were injured on both sides. Government troops were facing about 800 insurgents, he said.

Is the way it's written grammatically correct? Do we not have to precede the word with the to denote that we are talking about a group of people?

  • The sentence begins with deployments and ends with injuries......there is no mention of fighting.....I think this is an abuse of journalistic style......adding the to the sentence will not improve it. Commented May 6, 2014 at 10:39
  • 1
    The sentence is correct. Indeed, groups of people often take the definite article (the poor, the homeless). This is not the case, however, though I lack a decent explanation to give you.
    – Vilmar
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 10:43
  • 1
    The definite article is used in the same way before adjectives-turned-nouns like dead, injured, meaning dead people or injured people as it is in any other setting (although note that these adjectives-turned-nouns are usually plural). Just as you would say there were heroes on both sides, you say there were injured on both sides, with no definite article. Commented May 6, 2014 at 11:53
  • As others say, it is correct. I think I prefer this to other options centred around that word, such as there were injuries on both sides. Perhaps it would be too much of the s sound if injuries was used.
    – deed02392
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 11:56
  • @Gary'sStudent: The sentence is out of context; the rest of the article discusses the fighting. Commented May 6, 2014 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


If you would mention the injured, it would mean you are referring to a groups of injured people that you have mentioned before:

Twelve people were injured. The injured were on both sides.

However, we are not talking about a specific group of injured (people) here. In that case, we use the indefinite article, which in the singular is a, and in the plural is empty (zero-article).
Compare "I have an apple" => "I have apples".

In the same way, the writer used the indefinite article correctly like this:

There was an injured [person].
There were injured [people].

As was mentioned in the comments, injuries could well have been used instead of injured, but neither is wrong.


The short answer is no, you don't need to use the article.

In this instance, the expanded noun phrase is:

and there were injured [people] on both sides

However, because we know that we're talking about people, it's been elided.

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