Chapter 1-5-9: Compound adjectives

Grammar > Parts of Speech > Adjective > Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives are sometimes called a hyphenated adjectives that contains two or more words. If you can use the word “and” between the two adjectives or words, then a hyphen isn't necessary. See the examples below:

How do you know when to put a hyphen?

If you can use the word “and” between the two adjectives or words, then a hyphen isn't necessary:

  • She has a big blue book.

(Big and Blue are adjectives)

Can we say: She has a big and blue book. (Yes, it is possible)

  • He is a world famous singer.

Can we say: He is a world and famous singer. No, it doesn't sound correct so we need a hyphen to join the words world and famous. So, the correct sentence would be: "He is a world-famous singer."

Try it out for yourself. Examine the following correct examples:

  • Please request a eight-foot wall.

  • This is a 300-page magazine.

  • Jamie worked as a part-time cook in a vegetarian restaurant.

  • That is an all-too-common misconception.


  • This article is about compound adjectives. Don't use hyphens for adverbs. For example, if the first word is "very" or if the first word ends in "ly", like in "a specially designed aircraft", a hyphen is not required.

  • If the words are capitalized, they don't take a hyphen. For example, do not write "Super-Saver coupons," but instead write "Super Saver coupons."

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