Hyphenating Phrasal Adjectives

Phrasal Adjectives — aka Compound Adjectives or Compound Modifiers

Phrasal adjectives (also called compound adjectives) are hyphenated. For the most part. Are you among the zillions of writers who miss this signal detail? Don’t be. Just follow the fairly straightforward rules and exceptions explained here, and you’ll master this important writing tool.

get-hyphensWhat is a phrasal adjective? Phrases often function as adjectives. When a number of words together modify or describe a noun, the phrase is ordinarily hyphenated.

The general rule: if two or more consecutive words make sense only when understood together as an adjective modifying a noun, hyphenate those words. (But, grasping the rule’s exceptions is just as important.) Continue reading Hyphenating Phrasal Adjectives