Vocabulary - Compound Adjectives

What are compound adjectives?

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


  • An English-speaking country.
  • A time-saving gadget.
  • A thirty-floor building.

How are compound adjectives formed?

Compound adjectives can be formed as follows:

  • Adverb-past participle / noun + ed
    a well-known writer
    a brightly-lit room
    deeply-rooted traditions
    a well-mannered girl
  • Adjective-present participle (verb + ing)
    a good-looking boy
    a free-standing tower
  • Noun-past participle
    a tongue-tied boy
    a sun-dried fruit
  • Adjective-past participle / noun + ed
    a short-sighted man
    a long-haired lady
  • Noun- adjective
    a world-famous singer
  • Adjective- noun
    a last minute solution
    deep-sea diving
  • Noun-noun
    a part-time job

Exercises on compound adjectives (1)
Exercises on compound adjectives (2)