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a noun is modified by a hyphenated description? Options
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 1:09:18 AM

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Hi,

1-In one set of studies, six-month-old babies were shown a series of photographs. the faces in the pictures had been rated for attractiveness by a group of college students.[GR3:P23:L:36]
2 A thirty-seven year old American man has had the most extensive face transplant ever performed….

I am quite surprised about why in the first there is a hyphen between "six", "month" and "old"; However, isn't between "thirty" and "seven", "year" and "old" in the second.
Shivanand
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 2:42:13 AM
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I suppose these conventions are basically used for bringing clarity.

In this case the adjective is made up of three words, six month old. Technically if you wrote "six month-old babies" this would mean that you are referring to six babies which are each one-month old, while six-month-old babies would mean an unspecified number of babies which are each six months old. Six-month old baby doesn't make much sense. An old baby which is or has six months of something? I'm sure people would realize you meant six-month-old baby in this case. Same is the case with the other example.

Cheers!

BrS
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:52:11 AM
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Wasn't the question about why it isn't:

A thirty-seven-year-old American man has had the most extensive face transplant ever performed….
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 11:14:44 AM

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BrS wrote:
Wasn't the question about why it isn't:

A thirty-seven-year-old American man has had the most extensive face transplant ever performed….


Yes, it is quite what I meant
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 11:15:25 AM

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shivanand wrote:
I suppose these conventions are basically used for bringing clarity.

Six-month old baby doesn't make much sense. An old baby which is or has six months of something? I'm sure people would realize you meant six-month-old baby in this case. Same is the case with the other example.

Cheers!



Thanks a lot, Shivanand.

Don't you think that both "Six-month old baby" and "a thirty-seven-year old American man" make sense? Because as far as I know that six-month/thirty-seven-year" are axiomaticly used to indicated age,so we don't need the final hyphen.
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 4:21:54 AM

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Can this question "Does a 10 year old American child know what the future perfect tense is?" be reformulated as follows:
Does a 10-year-old American child know what the future perfect tense is?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:38:54 PM

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Hi again!

You are right.
In many styles (including the way I normally write) it would be normal to include hyphens (ten-year-old child).

However there are no fixed solid rules about it that I know - it is probably the sort of thing you will find in the "Yves Saint Laurent Guide to Stylish Writing" or the "American Psychological Association Guide to Saner English".

Six-month-old baby, six month old baby, thirty-seven-year-old man, thirty-seven year old man all look OK to me.

There could be some ambiguity if the "ten-year-old" phrase were widely separated from the noun "child" (for example if the sentence were "In the case of a ten-year-old or younger Eastern American or Australian child, we find a different result." This is because "ten-year-old" is also a noun.
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 1:09:14 AM

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Thank you so much indeed,
In this sentence below, can I write " a three-month notice' or 'three months notice"

Candidates requiring special arrangements due to temporary or long-term disability, such as hearing/sight impairment, dyslexia or speech impediment must give three months notice to the British Council so that appropriate guidance and approval can be obtained from the IELTS Special Circumstances Unit.

Viking88
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 8:31:37 AM
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'three months notice' is correct.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 11:31:28 AM

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Viking88 is correct for British English too.

One does not give a notice about doing something, one 'gives notice'. If the time is stated, then it is "gives three months notice" (or in this case "... must give three months notice ...").

I think you would say that 'three months' is a noun phrase, acting as a limiting (or quantifying) modifier for the noun 'notice'. Like a NN phrase.
RuthP
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 3:50:23 PM

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AE is more apt to use three month notice. This would be better if written as three-month notice, but that has become uncommon.

Hyphens are very useful for clarification, though overuse can make a piece look awkward. Hyphens are also falling out of favor and even terms which always took a hyphen when I was a kid are now written without.
A cooperator
Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 2:37:26 PM

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Hi all again,

I have found this sentence in some examiner's examination, I insist that there is something wrong in making 'syllable' be a plural.
If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:
first syllable
last syllable
both syllables
neither syllable.

It should have been written to read:

If a two syllable word is a noun, the stress will be on:
Or:
If a two-syllable word is a noun, the stress will be on:
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 6:36:35 PM

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Well hello - an old thread revisited!

Yes, I agree.

I would write it "If a two-syllable word is a noun, the stress will be on:..."

However, I would not object to "If a two syllable word is a noun, the stress will be on:...".
"If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:..." definitely does not feel right. "Two-syllable" is a noun-phrase acting as an adjective. Nouns acting as adjectives are not made plural.

His saddle bag attached to his bike.
Their saddle bags attached to their bikes.

Not "Their saddles bags attached to their bikes."
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:31:37 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Well hello - an old thread revisited!

Yes, I agree.

I would write it "If a two-syllable word is a noun, the stress will be on:..."

However, I would not object to "If a two syllable word is a noun, the stress will be on:...".
"If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:..." definitely does not feel right. "Two-syllable" is a noun-phrase acting as an adjective. Nouns acting as adjectives are not made plural.

His saddle bag attached to his bike.
Their saddle bags attached to their bikes.

Not "Their saddles bags attached to their bikes."


Thank you so much indeed, but that person who wrote that sentence is an Indian person who holds a PhD in English language, and he insists that 'If a two syllable word is a noun the stress will be on:...' is incorrect. However, he agrees with 'If a two- syllable word is a noun the stress will be on:...' is correct, and don't agree with that 'If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:' is incorrect, and his reason that this is stylistics.

Also, he would rather using 'If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:..'

I, myself, wouldn't agree with him.
Klaas V
Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 6:14:00 AM

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A cooperator wrote Indian person who holds a PhD in English.

Apparently it's the way they write stylish English in India. It's like the 'Dutch' of more than a century ago evolved to Afrikaans. With few effort we can understand when spoken or written. We miss some words that are unknown if you never learned this 'daughter language' without using a dictionary like TFD. Flemish is another story...
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 7:33:03 AM

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A cooperator wrote:
Thank you so much indeed, but that person who wrote that sentence is an Indian person who holds a PhD in English language, and he insists that 'If a two syllable word is a noun the stress will be on:...' is incorrect. However, he agrees with 'If a two- syllable word is a noun the stress will be on:...' is correct, and don't agree with that 'If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:' is incorrect, and his reason that this is stylistics.

Also, he would rather using 'If a two syllables word is a noun the stress will be on:..'

I, myself, wouldn't agree with him.

Well - I think he is correct in the first point. I would, myself, always use a hyphen with 'two-syllable word'.
However, I am not so critical that I would condemn someone for omitting the hyphen.

However, I cannot agree that 'a two syllables word' is correct. I agree with you.

Take a look at these graphs. The phrase 'a two syllables word' has not been used in any book written in English in the last two hundred years (unless it is a book that Google have not found yet).
Also, if you change the language to "British English", and click 'search' again, you will find that 'a two syllable word' (without hyphen) is not used in the UK.

****************
Hi Klaas V!

I take it that you are from Nederland then . . .

You can't blame the Belgians, really. I'd blame the French myself, for confusing the language. Whistle Whistle
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