How do we use two composite adjectives in a row?

For example:

We have a lot of mathematics-intensive and science-intensive courses.

Can the above be reduced to:

We have a lot of mathematics and science-intensive courses.

I am not sure, but it doesn't seem like it's allowed by the rules of English grammar, because we cannot imply the use of "-intensive"?


1 Answer 1


When I run into a situation like this, I do what Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) does.

Examples from CMoS (7.89: Hyphenation guide):

five- or ten-minute intervals (= five-minute or ten-minute intervals)
a group of ten- and eleven-year-olds (= ten-year-olds and eleven-year-olds)

Based on those examples, I would write your sentence this way:

We have a lot of mathematics- and science-intensive courses.

This style is fairly common though and not specific to CMoS.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .