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How do you write "wild blueberries flavored"?

I am wondering if we need to add hyphens (-) and how many. So, for example, is it "wild-blueberries flavored" or "wild-blueberries-flavored" or something else. I am not sure what's the proper way to write this.

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You should use the singular (blueberry) in general when you describe a flavor. I think the hyphens are optional and that any of the following would look ok:

wild-blueberry-flavored

wild blueberry-flavored

wild blueberry flavored

The fourth option, wild-blueberry flavored, doesn't look right to me, because if you want to connect the words, flavored should be one of the words you connect - flavored is the main adjective that you are describing with other adjectives.

In general hyphens are most useful when they make the meaning of a phrase less ambiguous. There are some good examples of when hyphens are necessary here - e.g. small-state senator vs. small state senator; violent-weather conference vs. violent weather conference. In your case the meaning of the phrase doesn't really change based on how you hyphenate it.

  • Ok, but wild flavored doesn't make sense so I don't think that any hyphens are required. So it seems obvious that wild qualifies blueberry and then "wild blueberry" qualifies flavor. // Although I don't know German, my impression is that often German handles this sort of idea better by making a compound word for the whole phrase. – MaxW Apr 22 at 0:48
  • @MaxW I agree, "wild flavored" makes no sense. But maybe "wild" could describe the noun N that follows, so "wild blueberry-flavored N" might not be the best option, despite what I wrote. I think most people would understand the implicit parentheses around "wild blueberry" in "wild blueberry-flavored" though - since "wild blueberry" is a relatively well-known fruit. – Mixolydian Apr 26 at 17:43
  • If I were going to put one hyphen in the phrase I'd use "wild-blueberry flavored." – MaxW Apr 26 at 17:47
  • @MaxW I guess that could work if you want to be clear that "wild blueberry" is a phrase. Probably best to use two hyphens or no hyphens to avoid confusion. – Mixolydian Apr 26 at 17:49
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Nouns like "blueberry" are usually singular when used in a compound as an adjective. For example:

Peach-colored

Rose-hued

Blueberry-flavored

And so on. "Wild blueberry" is just a specific variety of this compound. Hyphens are optional, but they do help connect the words to each other so that it's easier to understand what you mean

I'd like to try some of that new wild-blueberry-flavored yogurt.

Of course, in many cases the difference between "wild blueberry" and "cultivated blueberry" flavors exists only in some marketing guy's head, but that's a different discussion.

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    Wild blueberries are around a third the size of cultivated blueberries and have a distinctive flavor. (Although whether there's any real difference between, say, wild-blueberry-flavored soda and blueberry-flavored soda is a different question.) – Peter Shor Apr 21 at 20:48

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