A five-year-old whiskey A five year old boy

Should multiple adjectives describing a noun be hyphenated?

1 Answer 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.

an off-campus apartment
state-of-the-art design
a five-mile-long road
A five-year-old whiskey (or whisky sometimes)
A five-year-old boy

  • so the phrase "A five year old boy" that I commonly see is incorrect? Sep 20, 2019 at 4:53
  • In US English, you may omit the hyphens in compound adjectives, provided this does not lead to ambiguity. British English is stricter. Sep 20, 2019 at 6:20

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