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Times Life tells you how to kick-start a party soccer style as the FIFA World Cup 2014, in Brazil, gets underway.

Source - Times of India

I understand the meaning of this sentence, but I think there should a in before the bold part. Why is it omitted?

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Honestly, I don't think it is missing an 'in'.. soccer style should be in parenthesis. Either that or it should be moved to before party... a soccer-style party – dockeryZ Jun 9 '14 at 0:55
Soccer-style should be hyphenated. It's a compound adjective. – WendiKidd Jun 9 '14 at 2:33
It's a compound adverb (see below), not a compound adjective. The customs for hyphenation are less clear for compound adverbs. In this context, often the hyphen is omitted. See, for example, the section titled "Compound Adverbs" in this book. – Ben Kovitz Jun 9 '14 at 2:40

The phrase soccer style is functioning as an adverb modifying kick-start.


In English, it is fairly common to use a noun as an adjective to modify another noun. That's what's happening with soccer: it's being used as an adjective to modify style.

Using style together with a modifier as a modifier for something else is a fairly common idiom in English. So, the phrase means "kick-start a party in the style of soccer". Another example is "a hot dog prepared Mexican style". There, Mexican style is a compound adverb modifying prepared. Sometimes criminals are said to "kill someone execution style", that is, as if performing an execution. A recently famous example of this idiom is Gangnam Style. This use of the word style fulfills a role similar to that of the French preposition à; English lacks a preposition with that meaning.

You can look up "attributive noun", "compound adjective", and "compound adverb" if you're curious to get more information.

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Is there any link for further study in compound adverb? Because I want to learn more about this topics. I mean to say there should be some rules as to which words can be used as adverbs like this and which doesn't. I believe we can't use all words as adverbs like this. So I need to learn at least that much. Can anyone help? – Man_From_India Jun 9 '14 at 1:49
A couple minutes of googling didn't turn up anything especially thorough or authoritative. You'll probably find the best information under "attributive noun". This article seems OK, though it says very little specifically about compound adverbs. – Ben Kovitz Jun 9 '14 at 2:00
I also googled and found nothing of value regarding compound adverb. Actually this compound adverb is something that is new to me. You can tell me how to decide which word to use as adverbs like this and which don't. Thank you for the link. – Man_From_India Jun 9 '14 at 2:06
In English, it's only a slight exaggeration to say that any word can be used as any part of speech. A word's grammatical role depends enormously on context. A big factor, though, is that when a word commonly forms a phrase, like style in "American style", "royal style", "Texas style", "Gujerati style", etc., phrases with the same word in the same place in the phrase are easier to perceive as a single unit, and thus easier to use as compound modifiers. There is no "rule", though. – Ben Kovitz Jun 9 '14 at 2:18
This might help a tiny bit: It's actually fairly uncommon for an attributive noun phrase to serve as a compound adverb, simply because there aren't all that many meanings of attributive noun phrases that make any sense as modifiers for verbs or adjectives. Theoretically, "kitchen cabinet" (kitchen is a noun functioning as an adjective modifying cabinet) could be used as an adverb, but I am stumped to think of a verb that it could modify. Maybe this is why the style idiom stands out. – Ben Kovitz Jun 9 '14 at 2:25

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