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We learned in school that in English always "adjective +noun".But in "Cyrus the great" or "Alexander the great" is "noun+the+adjective". What is the name of the phrase? When could we use that phrase?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Phil Sweet, Xanne, J. Taylor, jimm101 Apr 16 '18 at 11:27

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This use of an adjective is called an epithet or byname, or if you want to get technical about it, the Latin term epitheton necessarium. That simply means the epithet is necessary to specify which particular person is meant. Grammatically, it is considered a restrictive appositive.

English and French Charlemagne is actually a contracted form of the French Charles le Magne, Charles the Great. This tells you that even non-contracted forms of such epithets function as proper names.

Just like proper names, epithets are always capitalized:

Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, Henry the Eighth, Charles the Fat, Charles the Bald

These last two Carolingians should also tell you that most but not all such epithets become popular after the death of the ruler so designated.

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