(1) elite 是指有權有勢有財富有特權的「社會精英階層」 (a group or class of people seen as having the greatest power and influence within a society, especially because of their wealth or privilege) 或能力和質素出眾的「菁英族群」(a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society), 因此是一個集合名詞, 并不能指一個人, 通常也不會有複數形式.
My brother is an elite.
University students will be elites.
✅ We cannot totally trust the ruling elite.
如果 elite 作為句子的主語, 謂語動詞用單數或複數皆可.
✅ The governing elite in this country has been surprisingly inept.
✅ The governing elite in this country have been surprisingly inept.
近義替換詞 —— the cream (the very best of a group of people or things) 以及 the flower (the finest individuals out of a number of people or things) —— 它们也没有复数形式:
The club is patronized by the cream of Canadian society.
These young men are the flower of track athletes.
(2) elite 可以作形容詞, 表示「高階的」「更優秀的」「精英的」:
✅ My brother is an elite athlete.
✅ Graduates of Lincoln High are going to study at elite universities and colleges.