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I want to ask a question related to hyphens. Is there a hyphen between the words white and Thai in the sentence below?

  • I saw a white-Thai temple.
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  • No, you don't put it there. Hyphens are mainly for compound words/adjectives.
    – Maulik V
    Dec 28, 2017 at 7:32
  • "White-thai" (with hyphen) means white-skinned thai people. "white thai temple" (without hypen) means a thai temple which is white"
    – Raj 33
    Dec 28, 2017 at 7:50

1 Answer 1

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From here:

Hyphen Rule 1: Generally, hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound adjective.
Examples:
"an off-campus apartment"
"state-of-the-art design"

The two adjectives in your sentence do not act as a single idea, so they should not be hyphenated.

Correct: "I saw a white Thai temple."
Meaning: a temple (in Thailand or build in the Thai style) that is the color white.


Edit: By hyphenating "White-Thai", it communicates that these two words are part of the same idea, so it communicates two races, a person or thing that is both White and Thai. So it is possible to say "White-Thai temple", but that is a temple that was built using both cultures.

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