Forming Compound Adjectives: Rules and Examples

What Are Compound Adjectives?

Compound adjectives are adjectives that are made up of two or more words usually with hyphens (-) between them.

Forming Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives can be formed as follows:

Adjective + Past participle

  • narrow-minded

He was too narrow-minded and prejudiced and bigoted.

  • high-spirited

Sophie’s a high-spirited young girl.

  • old-fashioned

An old-fashioned bell tinkled as he pushed open the door.

  • short-haired

He was dancing with a short-haired woman.

  • absent-minded

The actress was so absent-minded that she fluffed her lines.

  • strong-willed

She’s very strong-willed and if she’s decided to leave school, nothing will stop her.

  • quick-witted

He proved himself a quick-witted negotiator.

  • kind-hearted

Everyone says he is a kind-hearted man.

Adverb + Past Participle

  • well-behaved

He is an obedient and well-behaved child.

  • well-educated

I come from a well-educated family.

  • densely-populated

The Republic of Malta is a small and densely-populated island nation in southern Europe.

  • widely-recognized

She’s a widely-recognized expert in technology.

  • highly-respected

Our speaker tonight is a highly-respected scholar.

  • brightly-lit

He walked into the brightly-lit kitchen, opened the fridge, took out a bottle of water.

Noun + Past Participle

  • sun-baked

We strolled along the sun-baked streets of Naples.

  • child-wanted

I wanted to buy my daughter the most child-wanted toy.

  • middle-aged

I noticed two middle-aged passengers.

Noun + Present Participle

  • English-speaking

United Kingdom is an English-speaking country.

  • time-saving

We spend a fortune on the latest time-saving gadgets.

  • record-breaking

The show had a record-breaking run in the London theatre.

  • mouth-watering

The waitress came round with a tray of mouth-watering cream cakes.

  • thought-provoking

The film had a thought-provoking message.

Adjective + Present Participle

  • good-looking

He was tall and quite good-looking.

  • long-lasting

The impact of divorce on children can be long-lasting.

  • slow-moving

He was stuck in a line of slow-moving traffic.

  • far-reaching

Our findings have far-reaching consequences for researchers.

Adverb + Present Participle

  • never-ending

Writing a dictionary is a never-ending task.

  • forward-thinking

Some forward-thinking politicians are proposing reforms to the educational system.

Noun + Adjective

  • world-famous

His books are world-famous.

  • ice-cold

I’d love an ice-cold beer.

  • smoke-free

This is a smoke-free restaurant.

Adjective + Noun

  • full-length

A full-length portrait of the Queen hung on the wall.

  • last-minute

It was a last-minute decision.

Noun + Noun

  • part-time

We have 20 part-time members of staff .

Adjective + Adjective

  • fat-free

You can put it over frozen yogurt, fat-free ice cream, whatever you like.

Forming Compound Adjectives | Image

Forming Compound Adjectives: Rules & Examples

4 responses on "Forming Compound Adjectives: Rules and Examples"

  1. Hello

    Your lesson is very good. Thank you

  2. This is a well-done lesson but you forgot to mention the number-noun(sing) : eg a ten-day trip

Leave a Message

Your email address will not be published.