Cambridge dictionary says:

It's a normal two storeyed house.

There is a single-storeyed extension on the back of the house.

A three-storey house.

There is no hyphen in the first, and the use of single-storeyed and three-storey confused me.

Please explain.

Thank you.

  • Storeyed means "having storeys or floors". So the 3rd one seems incorrect to me. It could be "A house with three storeys." Other than that, I think the hyphen is optional. But I'm not sure as Cambridge dictionary is not likely to make a mistake. – Bella Swan Mar 19 at 10:40
  • Just check out in the Cambridge dictionary. – Kumar sadhu Mar 19 at 10:46
  • I'm not saying that you are quoting the dictionary wrong. I trust you :) . I'm just saying that what the dictionary says seems wrong to me (the third sentence) – Bella Swan Mar 19 at 10:46

In theory, 'storeyed' is an adjective and 'storey' is a noun.

It is a three-storeyed house.

'Storeyed' is describing the house.

As a compound adjective 'three-storeyed' would usually be considered to need a hyphen, but it's a rule that can be flexible, as we see in your example. 'Storeyed' is almost always going to be preceded by a number, so it is not as if there is much ambiguity to the meaning.

In practice, my experience is that 'storey' is used extremely commonly as both a noun and an adjective.

It's a thirty-storey high-rise. (Adjective)

The high-rise has thirty stories. (Noun)

In fact, I did not even realise that 'storeyed' was a word that existed in the context of the floors of buildings (in contrast to, say, "he had a storied past").

I think, therefore, the Cambridge dictionary is simply suggesting either version is acceptable. I'd add that 'storey' is a lot more common in the parts of the world I'm familiar with.

See examples here (North American) and here (British).

Perhaps 'thirty storey building' could be considered a noun phrase, in which case, 'storey' could be argued to still be a noun and not an adjective? Others are more qualified than me to say, and being part of a noun phrases does not remove an adjective's obligation to behave like an adjective. Whatever. In practice, the bottom line is that 'storeyed' is not common in my experience.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.