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Compound Adjectives. Prepared and Compiled By: Ragia Magdeldin Youssef. A compound word…. A compound word is made of two or more words that together express a single idea.

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compound adjectives

Compound Adjectives

Prepared and Compiled By:

Ragia Magdeldin Youssef

a compound word
A compound word…..
  • A compound word is made of two or more words that together express a single idea.
  • a. An open compoundmeans that the words of the compound are written separately, (New Year’s Eve, credit card, sea salt).
  • b. A hyphenated compound separates the words by hyphen(s) (brother-in-law, high-maintenance, force-feed).
a compound word3
A compound word…..
  • c. A solid compound is formed when the two words are written as one word (typewriter, breakfront, oatmeal).  Solid compounds generally begin as two separate words, then start to be used as hyphenated words, and finally become solid compounds (one word).
  •  Compound words may be permanent or temporary.  A permanent compound has been used so often and so widely that it is now in common usage and can be found in the dictionary.  A temporary compound is one that joins words by hyphen(s) as needed, we can create our own temporary compounds.  They say what WE want to convey to the reader.
a compound word4
A compound word…..
  • Hyphens
  • A hyphen (-) is a punctuation mark used to join the separate parts of a compound word.Examples:well-oiled (as in "well-oiled machine")6-foot (as in "6-foot shark")cooking-oilex-President
a compound word5
A compound word…..
  • Why do we even bother with a hyphen?  To avoid confusion.  When we join an adjective to a noun to create a compound adjective, without a hyphen the reader isn’t sure what is describing (modifying) what.   A tall tree stump indicates that the stump is from a tall tree, but if you are writing about the tall stump of a tree,  a tall-tree stump tells people that the stump was tall.  The hyphen makes that clear. 
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Compound Adjectives
  • A compound  adjective is a single adjective comprising

more than one word.  The words in a compound adjective are usually grouped together using hyphens.

  • Examples:

* a never-ending story* an all-bearing circuit device* a spine-chilling experience* a brain-hammering advertisement

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Compound Adjectives
  • - This is a well-run business.- Our professor is a well-read man.* a many-sided polygon* a single-handed sailor* an absent-minded person* a tight-fisted father- Nancy owns a three-bedroom apartment.- Robert drives a four-door car.- Kylie's a long-haired woman.- Robert married a fair-skinned lady.
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Compound Adjectives
  • One way to decide if a hyphen is necessary is to see if the phrase might be ambiguous without it. For example, "large-print paper" might be unclear written as "large print paper" because the reader might combine "print" and "paper" as a single idea rather than combining "large" and "print." Another such example is "English-language learners." Without the hyphen, a reader might think we are talking about English people who are learning any language rather than people who are learners of the English language.
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Compound Adjectives
  • 1.  Compound Adjectives need to be formed whenyou use two or more adjectives that need to be used together to modify the noun.  These compounds should be hyphenated, or you can get a sentence that doesn’t say what you meant it to say.
  • Incorrect: The short legged dog ran for the door.  (You are saying that the dog is short and had legs!)
  • Correct: The short-legged dog ran for the door.     (Now you are saying that the dog’s legs are short.)
  • Incorrect: Her red orange car was easy to see from a distance.  (Was the car red or orange?)
  • Correct: Her red-orange car was easy to see from a distance.  (Now you are saying that the car was a color that was a combination or red mixed with orange.)
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Compound Adjectives
  • Some compound adjectives formed with

1)an adverb or a noun plus a past participle

a great-looking car. 

2) a noun, adjective, or adverb with a present participle are always hyphenated when they come before the noun: 

a well-liked President, the well-written essay.  red-cheeked child, ice-covered streets, a great-looking car. 

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Compound Adjectives
  • IF the compounds come after the noun, they are not hyphenated.  The President was well liked.  Her essay was well  written.  The child was red cheeked.  All the streets are ice covered.   That car is great looking!  Sometimes these compounds become permanent, and are hyphenated even after the noun, sometimes they become permanent solid compounds (merge into one word).  That’s why it’s important to use your dictionary if you have any doubt at all.
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Compound Adjectives
  • Some compound adjectives use an adjective and a nounto which -d or -edhas been added:blue-eyed man, curly-haired woman, multi-grained bread.  
  • Some of these compounds become permanent hyphenated or solid compounds after years of use.
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Compound Adjectives
  • we must use hyphenation is to join a word to a past participle to create a single adjective preceding the noun it modifies: "a well-intentioned plan," for example, or "a horseshoe-shaped bar." Be aware, however, that we do not hyphenate these same phrases when they FOLLOW the nouns they modify:
  • --This is a government-mandated program. --The program is government mandated.
  • --She is a well-respected student. --She is well respected as a teacher.
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Compound Adjectives
  • Another basic rule is that we never hyphenate compounds that are created with "-ly" adverbs, even when they PRECEDE the nouns they modify: "a fully developed plan," for example, or "a nationally certified teacher." Here are more examples:
  • --We sent in heavily fortified troops. --The troops were heavily fortified.
  • --All newly employed nurses must be evaluated regularly. --All the nurses on the eighth floor are newly employed.
  • --A beautifully designed room can be both relaxing and invigorating. --The living room is beautifully designed.
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Compound Adjectives
  • TEST YOURSELF
  • Can you spot any errors in the use of compounds in the following sentences?
  • 1. The war in Iraq has been a closely-monitored media event. 2. The Department of Transportation maintains rights-of-way alongside all roadways. 3. Follow up activities have been scheduled for June and July. 4. We must follow up on these changes. 5. Long term planning must be an essential goal of this company. 6. The committee centers all of its recommendations in performance based standards.
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Compound Adjectives
  • ANSWERS
  • 1. The war in Iraq has been a closely monitored media event. [No hyphen with an "-ly" adverb, even though here it helps form a compound adjective preceding a noun.]
  • 2. correct [Webster's hyphenates "right-of-way" and the plural form "rights-of-way" in all circumstances--even when the phrase is functioning as a noun, as in this sentence.]
  • 3. Follow-up activities have been scheduled for June and July.
  • 4. correct
  • 5. Long-term planning must be an essential goal of this company.
  • 6. The committee centers all of its recommendations in performance-based standards.
thank you

Thank You

Ragia Magdeldin Youssef