The right to work implies the obligation on the part of the government to give a job to all the unemployed.

Can I replace all the unemployed with every unemployed. If yes then OK, but if not then why not?

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    Welcome to ELU.SE. This reads like test questions. Please ask only one question at a time, say what you think the correct alternative is and why it's that. Also, have a look at the list of tags and see what questions already exist in those which cover the specific aspects of the question.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 8, 2014 at 8:40
  • possible duplicate of English usage: Every vs all? Dec 8, 2014 at 11:24
  • @Blessed Geek: not a duplicate of that question, because it gives the wrong answer. The answer to that question is: you can say all the students or every student. The answer to this question is that you can say all the unemployed but not every unemployed. The reason is that when you use an adjective as a noun, there are only some constructions you can use it in. Dec 8, 2014 at 11:32
  • I have already read Every vs all. My question is different in some way.
    – starun008
    Dec 8, 2014 at 11:36
  • Thanks @PeteShor but i am beginner currently learning English grammar so i didn't understand your explanation. can you explain in more easy way.
    – starun008
    Dec 8, 2014 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


No, you can not replace "all the unemployed" with "every unemployed" because "the unemployed" is an adjectival noun and thus itself actually means "unemployed people," i.e. in the plural.

When understood that way, it becomes quite illogical to say "every unemployed" as that would refer to "every unemployed people." :)

  • Putting it more simply, you can only use "every" before singular nouns, and adjectival nouns are automatically plural. Dec 8, 2014 at 22:13
  • Thanks @PeterShor Can you explain the concept of adjectival noun through an example so i can understand it more clearly.
    – starun008
    Dec 10, 2014 at 8:24
  • An adjectival noun is just an adjective used as a noun. For a famous example from F. Scott Fitzgerald: Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. And in this case it means "the very rich people", as "all the unemployed" means "all the unemployed people". Dec 10, 2014 at 16:28

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