voting public -- is "public" an adjective?


Example with a context:

Approximately 60% of Québec's voting public rejected the idea put forth by Parti Québécois leader René Lévesque.

voting is obviously a noun there. But how does public fit into the picture? Is it used as a postpositive adjective?

Michael Rybkin

Posted 2015-02-06T22:33:42.103

Reputation: 37 124

1It is uncommon for participles to be employed as nouns in English. In this case, public is the noun and the participle voting is employed as an adjective. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2015-02-07T00:19:58.897



"public" is a noun = "the general population"

"voting" "is a present participle used as an adjective" (per StoneyB) = "the portion that is both eligible to vote and bothers to vote"

"Québec's voting public" = "the people in Québec who vote(d)"


Posted 2015-02-06T22:33:42.103

Reputation: 23 316

1public is also defined as (9) "a part or section of the community grouped because of a common interest, activity, etc ". The "common thing" here being participating in the election. – Stephie – 2015-02-06T22:43:50.283

2+0.5. Voting is a present participle used as an adjective. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2015-02-07T00:18:33.647