Hyphens

October 2020: Compound adjectives and their -

2020.10.09 | LVS/CKR

Photo: Free To Use Sounds, Unsplash

Adjectives are words that describe nouns, e.g. people or things. When an adjective comes before the noun it describes, we call it an attributive adjective. An attributive adjective often consists of two or more words, which we refer to as compound adjectives. In Danish, we usually write compounds in one word, while in English, we put a hyphen between two or more words when we want them to act as a single idea (one adjective) that describes the noun.

Below is a list of the different types of compound adjectives used in English grammar. 

Type

Example

Number + noun

A two-year Master’s degree programme.

Adjective + noun

At BTECH, we conduct high-quality research.

Noun + Adjective

He is a world-famous researcher.

Adjective + -ing-form

She is a hard-working woman.

Adverb + -ing-form

Learning is a never-ending task.

Noun + -ing-form

It is a time-saving method.

Noun + past participle

We solve problems relevant to technology-based business development.

Adverb + past participle

It is a well-known fact that COVID-19 is spread primarily through droplet transmission.

Adjective + past participle 

IoT is a new-fashioned technology.

Noun + noun

She has a part-time job.

Adjective + adjective

I don’t like fat-free cakes.

Language Services, Staff