When asking about somebody´s eyes? Would you go for " eye colour" or "colour eye". Then if the latter were the more frequently used how would you parapharse it. The former would be "the colour of his-her eyes".In addition, would you use the same structure to refer to hair eg: hair-colour or colour hair.


When asking about somebody´s eyes?

What is the color of her eyes?

What color eyes does she have?

What color are her eyes?

What is her eye-color?

All are grammatical, but the last is the least natural; it is how the question might be phrased when someone is filling out a bureaucratic form, like a police robbery report.

If a guy is telling his friend that he has met a nice girl who he thinks is pretty, his friend won't ask him "What is her eye-color?". No, he would ask "What color are her eyes?"

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Typically, it would be "eye color" or "hair color"; that is, the thing which is colored is initial.

English tends to be "head-initial" meaning the head of a phrase precedes complements (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-directionality_parameter). So something meaning "X of Y" is typically "Y X".


I hear birdsong

is equivalent to

I hear the song of birds


I hear songbirds


I hear birds which sing

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  • 3
    You answer would be more useful if you could provide references to support it. This question merits more than a one-liner. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Sep 21 '16 at 21:15

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