I have run into that phrase when I read a homework assignment. I can't find any clear explanation on the internet. I only see "in-turn" instead. Please help me understand that. If you need the context document, I will post it.

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    As CopperKettle says, a compound adjective has been formed by adding a hyphen to “turn in”. “Turn-in instructions” could also be rewritten as “instructions for turning in (your assignment)”. Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 17:00
  • Thanks for compound adjective, @TylerJamesYoung! I've been looking for the correct name. I knew that when a noun is used adjectivally it is a "noun adjunct" and tried to find what do we call a phrasal verb used in the same way. Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 17:02
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    It's a slightly quirky usage, so one can hardly blame OP for not understanding it straight away. But (particularly if we can assume OP isn't the only non-native speaker in the class) there's certainly scope for being critical of whoever used it in the first place. It's not a usage you'd want to encourage over [homework assignment] submission instructions, so if you can't rely on it being more easily understood, why use it in the first place? Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 18:10
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    If I had known the grammar point mentioned in the answer, I would have understood that easily. I would have looked up the word "to turn in" instead. Thank you all. Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 4:05
  • @ FumbleFingers Maybe PO was mistakenly assigned to a group of advanced English language learners, and the others caught the meaning quickly in the group. :) So, there can be a reason of why this tutor used this word.
    – user11470
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


"Turn-in instructions" probably means

Instructions for submitting your completed homework for grading.

The verb "to turn in" means "to submit, to give". In your sentence, this verb is transformed into an adjective "turn-in". Hence,

What kind of instructions? - Turn-in instructions.

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