I've seen so many instances of using hypenated "year-old" phrases that way , "singular subject pronoun + hyphenated phsase+noun", i.e

"I'm a 18-year old boy and I'm dating with a girl 8 years older than me" "She's a 15-year-old, pretty girl"

But I've never come across a plural pronoun used along with it, like:

"We're 30-year-old females" or "They are 60-year-old retirees" thus I'd want to know if it's wrong to use plural pronoun in such a sentence.

1 Answer 1


It's fine to use those hyphenated phrases such as 30-year-old with a plural pronoun. There isn't a rule against this.

For more context, the hyphenated phrase in the hyphenated phrase + noun pattern that you've noticed is a compound adjective. The words that are hyphenated together function as a single adjective.

For example:

The London-based biographer, John Smiles, writes about lesser-known artists of the 20th century.

  • Thanks for your answer @mattliu, what about "pronoun +hyphenated phrase" a pattern without a noun following that modifying phrase, like "I'm a 20-year-old" or "They're 60-year-olds" ? Is that also norm? Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 9:00
  • Hyphenating compound adjectives when they follow a noun is not normal. According to GrammarBook.com, "When a compound adjective follows a noun, a hyphen is usually not necessary." (refer to Rule 1, and note the exception for "dictionary compounds").
    – mattliu
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 9:50

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