General Writing and Grammar Help/killed


QUESTION: The officer identified the man killed as Mr. A.

Can you say "the killed man" instead of "the man killed"?

What are the differences between 'the killed man" and 'the man killed'?

Thank you.

ANSWER: 'the killed man' is not normal English usafe

so the answer is NO


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Would you like to explain why 'the killed man' is not normal in English usafe. I found a lot of sentence where past participle has been placed before the noun.

Yes - you could say 'the wicked man' but you would never say 'the killed man'

there is not necessarily any logic to language

for instance, you could say  'the big red leather suitcase'

but you would never say 'the leather red big suitcase'

it is just a matter of usage  

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Roy Johnson


I can answer questions on English language, grammar, writing skills, and study skills. I am particularly experienced in the writing skills required for academic essays, term papers, reports, dissertations, and post-graduate theses.


I have forty years experience as a tutor and as the author of books on writing and study skills. For thirty years I was a tutor for the Workers' Educational Association, which specialises in courses for adult students and preparing mature students for university. I was also a tutor for the Open University between 1975 and 2010. During that time I have also written a number of books on writing and study skills. In the last ten years or more I have specialised in creating computer-aided learning materials and online learning courses.

"Making the Grade" (Manchester University Press) 1990 "Studying Fiction" (Manchester University Press) 1991 "Marking Essays" (Clifton Press) 1993 "Revision and Examinations" (Clifton Press) 1993 "Writing Essays" (Clifton Ress) 1996 "Study Skills" (Clifton Press) 1996 "Electronic Writing" (Clifton Press) 1996 "Improve your Writing Skills" (Clifton Press) 2010 "Writing Essays 3.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program] "English Language 3.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program] "Study Skills 2.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program]

My first degree was in mechanical engineering (HNC). I then switched to literary studies and philosophy. My second degree was a BA in English and American Literature (from Manchester University - UK). I also have an MA in Comparative Literary Studies, and my doctoral thesis (PhD) was in the relationship between literature and politics.

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