You are looking: Home page > FOR STUDENTS > Hyphen with compound adjectives

Hyphen with compound adjectives


A compound adjective before the noun that it modifies is written with a hyphen: a dark-blue dress; a reddish-brown rug; a well-known writer; a well-read student.

Many compound adjectives in the position after the linking verb are written as two separate words, without a hyphen. Examples: Her dress is dark blue. The rug is reddish brown. This writer is well known.

Many other compound adjectives keep the hyphen in such cases: He is absent-minded and old-fashioned. She is good-looking and good-natured. She is well-read in English poetry.

Combinations of adverbs ending in “ly” with adjectives or participles are not hyphenated: a widely known fact; entirely white hair; a highly paid lawyer.

If a compound noun written as two separate words is used as an attribute before another noun, the compound noun is usually hyphenated: a high-school teacher; the living-room window; a parking-lot attendant.


Tags: ,

Give feedback