Hyphenation

دوره: لغات انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / اپیزود 31

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60 اپیزود

Hyphenation

توضیح مختصر

My sixty-year-old mother-in-law did a ten-foot dive into the swimming pool and was greatly admired. Why do we write some of those phrases with hyphens but not others? Its all to do with using numbers, adverbs and where these phrases appear in the sentence. Listen to 6 Minute Vocabulary with hard-working presenters Neil and Catherine to find out more. Then have a go at our practice activities.

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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Neil Hello! Welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Neil.

Catherine And I’m Catherine. And today we’re talking about hyphenation.

Neil Hyphens are those little signs - like dashes - that we use in writing to join two words together.

Catherine Yes, like in old-fashioned. There’s always a hyphen between old and fashioned. Let’s start with a clip from Brian. He’s a news reporter, and he’s reporting from a high school about an election.

Neil Think about this question while you’re listening: How does Brian describe the young people at the school? Here’s Brian.

INSERT Brian I asked some eighteen-year-old students at this secondary school how they’re voting in this year’s election. They’re all hard-working young people. Twenty-two of them are undecided and are likely to make a last-minute decision. But a sizable group say today’s politicians are not well respected and their attitudes are out of date . Back to the studio.

Neil So we asked you: How does Brian describe the young people at the school?

Catherine And the answer is: He says they are hard-working.

Neil That means they work hard. Now there are lots of compound adjectives like hard-working that we make with an adjective or adverb like hard plus a present participle like working .

Catherine And we always write them with a hyphen. So hard hyphen working (hard-working).

Neil And we can make compound adjectives in other ways too. Listen to this clip for three more examples.

INSERT Brian I asked some eighteen-year-old students at this secondary school how they’re voting in this year’s election. Twenty-two of them are undecided and are likely to make a last-minute decision.

Catherine First we had eighteen-year-old students . Eighteen-year-old is an adjective made from three words joined together with hyphens. When we write age before a noun, we use hyphens.

Neil Eighteen hyphen year hyphen old (eighteen-year-old) .

Catherine Exactly. And it’s the same with numbers; for example, we write the phrase a two-door car like this:

Neil A two hyphen door car (a two-door car) . But that’s only for numbers before the noun. If you write: the students are eighteen years old , you don’t need hyphens.

Catherine Now, the second compound in that clip was twenty-two .

Neil And the rule is: always use hyphens in numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine .

Catherine Twenty hyphen one (twenty-one). Two hundred and ninety hyphen nine (two hundred and ninety-nine).

Neil Good. Now the last compound adjective we had there was last-minute. The students were going to make a last-minute decision.

Catherine And that’s the adjective last plus the noun minute , joined with a hyphen. Now for another clip. Listen out for some more compound adjectives.

INSERT Brian A sizable group say today’s politicians are not well respected and their attitudes are out of date.

Catherine Well respected. That’s an adverb, well , and the past participle of a verb, respected . And together, they make an adjective, and the two parts of the adjective need a hyphen when we write them before a noun.

Neil So it’s a well-respected politician , with a hyphen: well hyphen respected politician (well-respected politician).

Catherine Yes. But in a phrase like the politicians were well respected we don’t use a hyphen, because the adjective comes after the noun, not before. And that rule is the same for three-word compound adjectives like out-of-date .

Neil So, the phrase out-of-date attitudes has hyphens because the adjective is before the noun, but the phrase their attitudes are out of date doesn’t have hyphens.

Catherine Exactly. And one last rule is that we never use hyphens in compound adjectives that have an adverb which ends in -l-y .

Neil No, we don’t. So in phrases like a carefully written letter we don’t use hyphens.

Catherine Now let’s talk about compound nouns . In our clip, Brian was reporting from a secondary school. The phrase s econdary school is a compound noun - and there’s no hyphen in it.

Neil No, there isn’t. Most compound nouns are written as two separate words.

Catherine If you’re not sure, check in a good dictionary.

IDENT
6 Minute Vocabulary from the BBC.

Catherine And it’s time for a quiz! Number one: What’s the compound adjective in this sentence and does it need a hyphen? We were late because of the slow-moving traffic.

Neil Slow-moving is the compound adjective, and it needs a hyphen.

Catherine
Very good! And number two. Is there a hyphen in a forty-mile run ?

Neil
Yes, there is. Forty hyphen mile run (forty-mile run) .

Catherine Number three: The teacher was very well liked . Is there a hyphen in well liked ?

Neil We don’t need a hyphen there.

Catherine Well done if you got those right. And before we go, here’s a vocabulary tip. When you are reading, make a note of compound adjectives and nouns with - and without - hyphens. Keep a list and check it regularly.

Neil Yes. There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both Bye!

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