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Compound adjectives

What are compound adjectives?

A compound adjective is formed when two or more adjectives are joined together to modify the same noun. These terms should be hyphenated to avoid confusion or ambiguity. For example:

  1. Diana submitted a 6-page document.
  2. She adopted a two-year-old cat.


Exceptions

Note that combining an adverb and an adjective does not create a compound adjective. No hyphen is required because it is already clear that the adverb modifies the adjective rather than the subsequent noun. For example:

  1. It was a terribly hot day.
  2. It is an amazingly good idea.

In addition, you should not place a hyphen in a compound adjective if the adjectives are capitalized, such as when they are part of a title.

Examples of compound adjectives

  1. This is a four-foot table.
  2. Daniella is a part-time worker.
  3. This is an all-too-common error.
  4. Beware of the green-eyed monster.
  5. He is a cold-blooded man.
  6. I love this brightly-lit room!
  7. Danny’s dog is well-behaved.
  8. You have to be open-minded about things.

Compound adjective exercises

Coming soon