Compound adjectives

Compound adjectives with participles

The table below shows how compound adjectives are built in English.

Types Examples
past participles a a candle-lit table
a horse-drawn cart
a self-employed web designer
a tree-lined avenue
present participles a long-playing record
a long-suffering patient
a time-consuming job
-ed words cross-eyed
flat-chested
open-minded
slow-footed
quick-witted

Compound adjectives of measurement

The table below shows compound adjectives built with cardinal and ordinal numbers.

Types Examples
Age a four-year-old building
an eighteen-year-old girl
Area/volume a four-acre plot
a two-litre car
Duration a three-hour meeting
a two-hour film
Length/depth a twelve-inch ruler
a five-foot hole
Price a $40 jacket
a $100,000 house
Time/distance a ten-minute walk
a four-hour journey
Weight a ten-stone wrestler
a five-kilo bag of flour
Ordinal numbers a first-rate film
a second-hand car
a third-floor apartment
a eighteen-century novel

Compound adjectives with prefixes and suffixes

The table below shows how compound adjectives are built with prefixes and suffixes in English.

Types Examples
Prefixes/suffixes fashion-conscious
health-conscious
tax-free
loose-fitting
waterproof
fire-resistant
car-sick
tight-lipped
airtight
with well / badly well-behaved
well-built
well-done
well-paid
with ill / poorly poorly-educated
poorly-paid
ill-advised
ill-bred
ill-fitting
ill-informed
ill-mannered
Language Bookshop