Is An Adjective Compound? 7 Facts (With Examples)


Adjective is a describing word. It can be compound and modify nouns like other modifiers.

An adjective is compound. It can be a compound word when we need to qualify nouns or pronouns. Compound adjectives are formed with two or more than two words and modify the nouns or pronouns. Therefore, adjectives can be formed as compound adjectives based on our needs.

What does compound adjective mean?

We make a compound adjective with multiple individual words. These words are usually connected by a hyphen (-) and if more than two words are connected more than one hyphen is used. Compound adjectives act as any other common adjectives.

Ex- I saw a middle-aged man on my way to the market.

Explanation- Here the word ‘middle-aged’ is a compound adjective. It is formed with the two individual words ‘middle’ and ‘aged’. It has been used to modify the noun ‘man’.

Ex- It is an old-fashioned building.

Explanation- In the above sentence the word ‘old-fashioned’ is a compound adjective. It is made up of the words’ old’ and ‘fashioned’. It modifies the noun ‘building’.

When is an adjective compound?

An adjective is compound when it is formed with two or more than two words and works as a modifier. It modifies a noun or a pronoun like other single word modifiers. This compound modifier is grammatically equivalent to a single-word modifier.

Ex- Zaggi works as a part-time teacher in a school.

Explanation- Here the compound adjective ‘part-time’ is formed with the two words ‘part’ and ‘time’. It works as a modifier and modifies the noun ‘teacher’.

Ex- I have got an eye-opening experience by reading this book.

Explanation- In this sentence ‘eye-opening’ is a compound adjective. It modifies the noun ‘experience’.

Why is an adjective compound?

An adjective is compound because it is formed by adding a noun, a present participle or a past participle to the adjective. It works as a modifier and modifies the nouns that follow them. 

Ex- All my students in school are well-behaved.

Explanation- Here the compound adjective ‘well-behaved’ is formed by adding a past participle with the adjective ‘well’. It modifies the noun ‘students’.

Ex- This is a never-ending process to solve the matter.

Explanation- In this sentence we find that the word ‘never-ending’ is a compound adjective. It is formed with the coalescence of two words ‘never’ and ‘ending’. It modifies the noun ‘matter’.

How is an adjective compound?

Compound adjectives are compound modifiers. They are equivalent to single word modifiers and collectively modify a noun. This adjective is compound and works as a modifier like other modifiers. Like a regular adjective a compound adjective serves the same function.

Ex- Everyone should be open-minded about these things.

Explanation- Here we come across an example of a common adjective i.e. ‘open-minded’. It serves as a modifier like other modifiers and modifies the noun ‘things’.

Ex- Sagnik has bought a brand-new car.

Explanation- In the sentence two words ‘brand’, a noun and ‘new’, an adjective are used to make the compound adjective ‘brand-new;. It acts as a modifier and modifies the noun ‘car’.

Compound adjective examples:

Now let’s see the following examples where compound adjectives are used in sentences.

  1. Jack wants to grow up into a well-rounded scientist.
  2. The shopping mall on the main street is a smoking-free venue.
  3. Last year our whole family visited an English-speaking country.
  4. This is an old-fashioned shirt which my father bought yesterday.
  5. My mother is cooking mouth-watering dishes in the kitchen.
  6. My friend has shifted to a densely-populated city.
  7. Lucky has taken admission into a short-time course.
  8. The students are eagerly waiting for the last-minute suggestion.
  9. Some people like to travel long-distance spots by train.
  10. Ready-made things are not long-lasting.
  11. Sagar is a world-famous musician.

Detailed explanations:

Ex- Jack wants to grow up into a well-rounded scientist.

Explanation- In the example two words ‘well’ and ‘rounded’ are put together to make a compound adjective. It modifies the following noun ‘scientist’.

Ex- The shopping mall on the main street is a smoking-free venue.

Explanation- Here we have seen that two words ‘smoking’ and ‘free’ are used to make a compound adjective with a hyphen(-). It is used as a modifier. It modifies the noun ‘venue’.

Ex- Last year our whole family visited an English-speaking country.

Explanation- The above example contains a compound adjective i.e. ‘English-speaking’. It is formed with the two words English and speaking. It has been used as a single modifier and modifies the noun ‘country’.

Ex- This is an old-fashioned shirt which my father bought yesterday.

Explanation- In this sentence the word ‘old-fashioned’ is a compound adjective. It acts as a modifier and modifies the following noun ‘shirt’.

My mother is cooking mouth-watering dishes in the kitchen.

Explanation- Here the two words ‘mouth’ and watering’ are used to form a single compound adjective. It works as a modifier and modifies the noun ‘dishes’.

Explanation- Here a compound adjective ‘mouth-watering’ has been used to modify the noun ‘dishes’. This word is made with two words ‘moth’ and ‘watering’ and modifies the noun ‘dishes’.

Ex- My friend has shifted to a densely-populated city.

Explanation- In the above sentence an adverb ‘densely’ and an adjective ‘populated’ are used to form a single adjective. It is a compound adjective that is used as a modifier and modifies the noun ‘city’.

Ex-Lucky has taken admission into a short-time course.

Explanation- It is a sentence where two words ‘short’, an adjective and a noun ‘time’ are taken together to form a compound adjective. This compound adjective acts as a modifier like other modifiers and modifies the noun ‘course’.

Ex-The students are eagerly waiting for the last-minute suggestion.

Explanation- The above example deals with a compound adjective that is made with the two words ‘last’ and ‘minute’. It works as a modifier and describes the noun ‘suggestion’.

Ex-Some people like to travel long-distance spots by train.

Explanation- Here we find an instance of a compound adjective that is formed with the two words ‘long’ and ‘distance’. This compound adjective ‘long-distance’ functions as a modifier and modifies the noun ‘spots’.

ExReady-made things are not long-lasting.

Explanation- In the sentence two compound adjectives ‘ready-made’ and ‘long-lasting’ have been found. Both these words are formed with two different words and act as modifiers. They modify the noun ‘things’.

ExSagar is a world-famous musician.

Explanation- This sentence contains a compound adjective i.e. ‘world-famous’. It modifies the noun ‘musician’.

Do compound nouns have adjectives?

Compound nouns certainly have adjectives. Compound nouns are formed with two or more than words. The words may be noun, verb, adjective, preposition. These parts of speech are used to make a compound noun. The following compound nouns show how compound nouns have adjectives.

Ex- I have purchased a smartphone.

Explanation- Here two words ‘smart’ and ‘phone’ are used to make a compound noun ‘smartphone’. ‘Smart’ is an adjective and ‘phone’ is a noun.

Ex- We enjoyed the full moon night.

Explanation- In the above example ‘full’ is an adjective and ‘night’ is a noun. These two words make the compound noun ‘full moon’.

Conclusion

This article will surely provide the readers sufficient information on compound adjectives.

We will also learn their right usages with the help of many examples and their detailed explanations.

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