Hyphen With Compound Modifiers

A compound modifier consists of two words connected by a hyphen, which act together like one adjective. Usually, compound modifier words could be understood as individual modifiers or nouns, so the hyphen is required to clarify the function of the words.

Consider the sentence below:

It’s recommended you not take down any load bearing walls when renovating.

In the sentence above, it sounds like you shouldn’t take down any load that is holding up a wall. A hyphen should be inserted between load and bearing, so the reader understands not to take down any walls that are holding up a load:

It’s recommended you not take down any load-bearing walls when renovating.

Look at the following examples of sentences featuring compound modifiers connected by hyphens:

This rock-hard cake is absolutely impossible to eat.
The quick-witted boy had everyone on the bus laughing.
No one likes a two-faced person.

Weekly Grammar Tips
Weekly Grammar Tips
Want more good reads?

Get the best stories delivered to you each week.

Your writing, at its best
Why not make your writing mistake-free across the web?
Get Grammarly It’s free
Blog Updates
Sign up for our weekly newsletter and never miss a story.
Want more good reads?

Get the best stories delivered to you each week.

Embed Code

Copy code below to embed this post to your site.