This is common in Latin, as there are genders for adjectives therefore "stultus pecuniam semper laudat," means "a foolish [man] always praises money." We know that this is a man as the adjective stultus is masculine. Therefore, could we say in French "Un beau veut toujours d'être sur son trente et un" instead of "Un bel homme veut toujours d'être sur son trente et un?"

2 Answers 2


Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire. -- Nicholas Boileau


Yes, many adjectives including beau can be substantivized but the resulting sentence is slightly odd in your example.

Un beau veut... is not really idiomatic although un vieux beau veut... would be.

  • 1
    @Qu'arrhesrententsanshune I relied on en.wiktionary.org/wiki/substantive#Verb I pick the most used, thanks!
    – jlliagre
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 7:04
  • 1
    I'd certainly choose substantivized here too. Or "an adjective can be a substantive" for some metagrammar.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:32

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