There is correct pattern to say complex adjectives: adjcective+noun+ed. For example: green-eyed, tall-stalked. But in my book I have stumbled onto word "thatched-roof" with words other way around. Can you explain to me why? The text is:

They were barefoot, wore hardly any clothes, and some wore bones through their noses. Dr. Howlett explained that they lived nearby in a village of thatched-roof huts, and the missionaries were learning their language and telling them about Christ.

  • 1
    Thatched-roof is the adjective, hut is the noun. Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 9:14
  • Are you asking why "green-eyed" and "tall-stalked" are correct but not "thatch-roofed". Is it that ZWA? The position of the adjective (thatched) in the noun phrase "thatched-roof hut" is correct.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 9:21
  • @Mari-Lou.. Ahh, I see. Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


In the example "green-eyed" you are combining adjectives "green" and "eyed".

However the adjective in "thatched roof" is "thatched" (the word "thatch" is normally a noun) and it is describing the noun "roof".

A "thatched roof" is a noun phrase and it is being used attributively to describe the noun "hut".

I feel that "thatched-roofed huts" would be possible in this context too.


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