a special-needs guest

arueng

Senior Member
CHINESE
The merry-go-around is designed to accommodate wheelchairs. Braille games are placed beside boxes of Monopoly. And table-high sandboxes allow just about any kid to build a castle. Morgan's Wonderland aims to offer everything a special-needs guest might enjoy at a theme park — while appealing to non-disabled visitors too.

The link:
http://www.studentpost.com.tw/travel/


Hi,
I wonder why it's a special-needs guest in the above but not "a special-need guest." Doesn't an adjective often use a singular form? Thanks.
 
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Special-needs guest here means a guest with special needs. In such phrases used as adjectives, it is not unusual to have plurals; for example, you might refer to the meat-and-potatoes tastes of someone who is not a gourmet, or a woman with a peaches-and-cream complexion.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Thanks, GWB.
    Is it also correct to write "a special-need guest" in the context?
    Even if a particular guest has only one special need, the set phrase is "special needs" (or "special-needs" with a hyphen, when used as an adjective as it is here). You cannot change a set phrase without losing its overall meaning by reducing it to its elements.
     

    arueng

    Senior Member
    CHINESE
    Even if a particular guest has only one special need, the set phrase is "special needs" (or "special-needs" with a hyphen, when used as an adjective as it is here). You cannot change a set phrase without losing its overall meaning by reducing it to its elements.
    Thanks, Egmont, for your wonderful viewpoint.
     
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