First, in order to understand compound adjectives, you need to know what an adjective is. An adjective is a word that describes something. For example; if you say a yellow pencil, yellow is an adjective because it describes the pencil. It shows us that the pencil is yellow.
If we have understood what an adjective modifies, we can now learn about the compound adjectives. It is a form of an adjective that is formed when two or more adjectives are joined together to modify the same noun. They usually used with hyphens (-) between them. The hyphen symbolizes the unification of the words. We use it when we want these words to act as a whole and a single idea.
- I’ve just started to read a 500-paged book.
- It is not a proper thing to eat for a one-year-old cat.
- I am a part-time worker in this café.
There are some occasions when we don’t use hyphens between the adjectives or words.
- You should not place a hyphen in a compound adjective if the adjectives are capitalized and referring to something special like a title of a book etc.
I love to watch the National Geographic channel.
- You can create a compound adjective with the use of quotation marks.
She showed up at the party with her ‘always classy’ look.
- You can modify a noun with an italic written compound adjective.
This restaurant has an a la carte menu.
Compound adjectives with adverbs
Adverbs modify a verb, and we can use them with uniting them to adjectives before a noun. In this situation, an adverb modifies an adjective. Because of this modification but not the unification of the idea of these two words, we do not put a hyphen between an adverb and an adjective.
I passed an extremely hard exam.
As you see, there is no hyphen between the words. But there are acceptances when we use a hyphen between an adverb and an adjective;
- Shakespeare is the most well-known writer of all time.
- He is a highly-respected lawyer.
You would be confused about this hyphen situation, but the rule is simple. If you want to unify the meaning of your adjective or adjective and adverb, you should put a hyphen between them.
There is another simple rule that if you can use ‘and’ between your adjectives, there is no need to use a hyphen.
She is going to wear a long black dress at the prom. (You can use ‘and’ between the words long and black- She is going to wear a long and black dress at the prom)
Time indicating with compound adjectives
You can use the structure of compound adjectives which can be a number+a time period in that situation, to indicate the time. You should use a hyphen while indicating time like this.
- I am going to visit my family for a week→ I am going to have a one-week family visit.
- My plane has a two-hour delay.
Some examples of compound adjectives
- Adjective+Past Participle
→I have a lot of short-haired friends in my class.
→My brother cannot see my point of view, he is such a narrow-minded person.
→My family and I like to travel all around the world and this gave us some different perspectives for life. I think I have an open-minded family.
→I don’t like the way you dress. You look like the old-fashioned lady in our apartment.
→This is a long-forgotten situation.
- Noun+Past Participle
→You can make a tea out of sun-dried daisies.
→My teacher is a middle-aged woman who is married with two children.
→The government agreed on using sun-powered generators for the city.
→I made home-made cheesecakes and some bread today.
- Noun+Present Participle
→There are mouth-watering cakes at the entrance of this patisserie.
→I’ve watched a romantic film last night and it has such a heart-breaking story that I couldn’t hold my tears while I was watching it.
→My sister decided to move to an English-speaking country to improve her English.
→This must be a record-breaking album because it is on the top of every list for weeks.
→I promise myself on the New Year’s eve that I’m going to do time-saving activities and stop being a procrastinator this year.
- Adjective+Present Participle
→It seems to me that, this is going to be a long-lasting relationship.
→She is such a good-looking girl.
→I am late because of slow-moving traffic.
- Adverb+Present Participle
→There was a never-ending action through the film.
→She is such a forward-thinking character that she would be a leader someday.
→There must be a smoke-free area in this part of the airport.
→My father started to eat sugar-free foods because of his health problems.
→Michael Jackson is a world-famous singer.
→ They are trying to hold on to their long-distance relationship.
→I’m sick of his last-minute decisions, I don’t know what to do sometimes.
→I cannot find a full-length version of this portrait on the Internet.
→My brother is a blue-eyed little boy.
→My uncle is a police and he has a bullet-proof jacket.
→I am looking for a part-time job which is near to my school in the city center.
→She has big-green eyes. (You should make this sentence without using a hyphen between big and green, you should add ‘and between the adjectives)
She had big green eyes.
→We have a large and brown dining table in our dining room.
Compound Nouns Konu Anlatımı İçin Tıkla