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Compund Adjectives

Compound Adjectives

15th August 2020 CHALLA Comments Off

Compound Adjectives

Compund Adjectives

Compound Adjectives are generally formed by combining two or more words together. Here both these words are linked with a hyphen to avoid any kind of confusion and ambiguity.


Just observe the following sentences to know the importance of the hyphen. (small dash)

  1. There is a man eating lion.
  2. There is a man-eating lion.


In the first sentence without a hyphen, we get the meaning that man is eating the lion.

In the second sentence with a hyphen, we get the meaning that it is the lion that eats men.



baby-faced, brand-new, bow-legged, broken-hearted, bull-headed, candy-stripped, co-operative, four-sided, freckle-faced, hard-hearted, hard-nosed, heavy-handed, high-heeled, ice-cold, ill-mannered,  left-handed, life-giving, life-saving, long-legged, long-winded, man-eating, middle-aged, next-door, pigeon-toed, red-blooded, self-centered, self-made, short-tempered, short-sighted, sure-footed, thin-skinned, tight-fisted, three-headed, well-being, whole-hearted, up-to-date, etc.


Let us see some common ways to form these. 


Compound Adjectives with (number + noun)


  • nine-inch heels
  • four-step guide
  • five-minute talk 
  • ten-day tour
  • ten-page brochure
  • 10000-word letter  
  • three-week vacation
  • 40-minute drive
  • four-year relationship


Compound Adjectives with (number + noun + adjective) 


  • 7-year-old friendship
  • 69-year-old neighbour
  • four-year-old building
  • one-year-old car
  • seven-month-old babe


Compound Adjectives with (Noun + Adjective)


  • world-famous writer
  • worry-free sleep
  • colour-sensitive care
  • smoke-free area
  • brand-new shirt
  • fat-free oil
  • life-long friendship
  • rock-solid strength
  • chocolate-brown colour


Compound Adjectives with (Adjective + Noun)


  • fast-food restaurant
  • all-day comfort
  • true-life drama
  • deep-water vessel
  • long-life health
  • third-party coverage
  • last-minute decision
  • full-length story
  • laser-cut shoes
  • high-tech thoughts


Compound Adjectives with ( Noun + Noun) 


  • goody-goody picture
  • mother-daughter affection
  • tip-top condition 


Compound Adjectives with (Adjective + Adjective)


  • extra-large shirt
  • extra-strong energy
  • purple-brown windows
  • north-west plot
  • super-confident person


Compound Adjectives with (Noun + Present Participle)


  • mouth-watering dishes
  • record-breaking jump
  • energy-saving light bulbs
  • fun-loving story
  • life-changing moment
  • nail-biting habit
  • man-eating animal


Compound Adjectives with (Noun + Past Participle)


  • sun-dried raisins
  • alcohol-based sanitizers
  • appearance-focused culture
  • berry-coloured suitcase
  • blood-stained clothes
  • calorie-controlled diet
  • coffee-coloured building
  • computer-based work


Compound Adjectives with (Adjective + Past Participle)


  • old-fashioned taste
  • cold-blooded people
  • best-paid content writer
  • black painted nails
  • hard-earned money
  • less-lined writing
  • long-awaited return
  • middle-aged woman
  • ready-made juice


Compound Adjectives with (Adjective + Present Participle)


  • good-looking lady
  • long-lasting memory
  • delicious-tasting meals
  • great-tasting ingredients
  • long-wearing lip balm
  • natural-looking appearance
  • slim-fitting trousers
  • sweet-smelling ingredients
  • healthy-eating plan


with (Adverb + Past Participle)


  • brightly-lit room
  • well-known musician
  • densely-populated area
  • best-paid film director
  • hard-earned money
  • newly-born baby
  • long-awaited return 


 with (the word –style)


  • cafe-style tea
  • kimono-style coat
  • nuclear-style destruction
  • retro-style piece
  • utility-style garments


 with (Phrases)


  • all-expenses-paid tour
  • all-in-one guide
  • back-to-nature experience
  • day-to-day performance
  • down-on-one-knee situation
  • down-to-earth statesman
  • easy-to-apply techniques
  • end-of-year event
  • fresh-from-the-sea ripples


Let us learn when to use a hyphen and when to avoid it. This is very important because to avoid any kind of confusion, we have to understand the clear use of the hyphen in the compound adjectives.


We use a hyphen before the noun:


  • She submitted a hundred-page document.
  • They promoted a well-developed project.
  • This ten-year-old girl is an archery champion.
  • This is an easily-understood idea.
  • He is a world-famous writer.
  • This is a thought-provoking proverb.


We use no hyphen when we use the adjective predicatively after the subject. 


  • Her document is hundred pages long. 
  • Their promoted project is well developed.
  • The archery champion is ten years old. 
  • This idea is easily understood.
  • This writer is world famous.
  • This proverb is thought provoking.


We use no hyphen with comparative (-er) and superlative (-est) adjectives:

  • They are a better loving couple.
  • She is the tallest looking girl in the class. 


Compound Adjective worksheets


 A. Write the compound adjectives based on the given phrases.

  1. A tour that takes one month:  ______________________________
  1. A book that contains 200 pages:  _________________________________                                                                     
  2. This man is 87 years old :     _________________________________                                                                          
  3. A drive that is of 50 minute:   _________________________________                                                                            
  4. The teachers with high commitment:_________________________________
  1. An alligator with sharp teeth:    _________________________________                                                                       
  2. A man with white hair:       _________________________________                                                              
  3. This food is free form cholesterol:  _________________________________                                                                      
  4. This lady has kind heart:   _________________________________                                                                             

            10.The technology that saves money: _________________________________                                                                                            

  1. The area that is free from smoke: _________________________________                                                                              
  2. There is a story with full length:  _________________________________                                                                             
  3. Dishes that waters your mouth:     _________________________________                                                                           
  4. The girl who looks good:         _________________________________                                                                       
  5. Friendship that lasts a long time:    _________________________________                                                                           
  6. The moment that changes life:    _________________________________                                                                            
  7. The animal that eats men:      _________________________________                                                                          
  8. The knife that is stained with blood:_________________________________

             19 The sanitizer that is based on alcohol:________________________________    

  1. The diet that is controlled from calorie:  ________________________________                                                                                                   

B) Match the following words to form Compound Adjectives:

1.Blood a) based
2.Bullet b) born
3.Brand c) changing
4.Computer d) proof
5.Down e) by-step
6.Easy f) catching
7.Extra g) new
8.Eye h) eating
9.Four i) fashioned
10.Full j) fat
11.Good k) fitting
12.Life l) watering
13.Long m) large
14.Low n) life
15.Man o) year-old
16.Mouth p) looking
17.Newly q) minded
18.North r) west
19.Old s) smelling
20.Open t) solving
21.Problem u) stained
22.Real v) term
23.Skin w) tight
24.Slim x) time
25.Step y) to-apply
26.Sweet z) to-earth


Key to Exercise 1

  1. one-month tour
  2. 200-pages book
  3. 87-years old man
  4. 50-minute drive
  5. high-committed teachers
  6. sharp-toothed alligator
  7. white-haired man
  8. cholesterol-free food
  9. kind-hearted lady
  10. money-saving technology
  11. smoke-free area
  12. full-length story
  13. mouth-watering dishes
  14. good-looking girl
  15. long-time/long-lasting friendship
  16. life-changing friendship
  17. man-eating animal
  18. blood-stained knife
  19. alcohol-based sanitizer
  20. calorie-controlled diet


Key to Exercise 2


  1. Blood-stained
  2. Brand-new
  3. bullet-proof
  4. Computer-based
  5. Down-to-earth
  6. Easy-to-apply
  7. Extra-large
  8. Eye-catching
  9. Four-year-old
  10. Full-time
  11. Good-looking
  12. Life-changing
  13. Long-lasting
  14. Low-fat
  15. Man-eating
  16. Mouth-watering
  17. Newly-born 
  18. North-west
  19. Old-fashioned
  20. Open-minded
  21. Problem-solving
  22. Real-life
  23. Skin-tight
  24. Slim-fitting
  25. Step-by-step
  26. Sweet-smelling