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:
- Diana submitted a 6-page document.
- She adopted a two-year-old cat.
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:
- It was a terribly hot day.
- 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
- This is a four-foot table.
- Daniella is a part-time worker.
- This is an all-too-common error.
- Beware of the green-eyed monster.
- He is a cold-blooded man.
- I love this brightly-lit room!
- Danny’s dog is well-behaved.
- You have to be open-minded about things.
Compound adjective exercises