be well-known / well known

  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Your sentences don't give us enough context to guess what you mean by well-known. For example, I could insert the word "ill" into those sentences and they would make sense.
    In the first sentence, we nee to know what "that" refers to. Is it "that you are starring in a movie" or "that you have pink spots on your face"?
     

    PetroniusArbiter

    Member
    English
    I was taught that the compound adjective "well-known" is used before nouns, but "well known" is used after nouns.

    She is a well-known person.
    She is well known.

    She is a well-dressed person.
    She is well dressed.


    Not exactly sure why that is. Maybe someone else can chime in.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    All right, folks.

    Here are the contexts:

    1. People don't notice that because you're still not very well-known.

    >> "That": a virtue, a fault, something you do.
    >> "Well-known": known to a lot of people

    2. She was so well-known [so many people knew her] that I was worried.


    Thank you in advance!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Well-known is similar famous. Hundreds (possibly thousands) of people I have worked with, gone to school with, etc. know me, yet I am not well-known.

    1) Your close friends have surely noticed your virtues, faults and that thing you do. Your friends are people whether you're famous or not. I think this sentence may show that you are confusing "there people who know you well (know a lot about you)" with "you are well-known".
    2) Why might you be worried about a well-known person? There are reasons but you haven't told us one of them.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you for your answers.


    I'll provide more context:

    "You treat your family like dirt and you don't care about you children; people don't notice that because you're still not very well-known. But if you really achieve success with this rock band, everybody will know the good and bad things you do.

    Thank you in advance!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I can see because of the second sentence that you understand that achieving success is a way to become well-known. Re-read what I said above about people though.
     

    temple09

    Senior Member
    English - British
    1. People don't notice that because you're still not very well-known.

    >> "That": a virtue, a fault, something you do.
    >> "Well-known": known to a lot of people
    This is slightly off the main subject. But you may be tempted to say "People don't know about that because ..."
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello everyone,

    Is the adjective "well-known" correctly used?

    1. People don't notice that because you're still not very well-known.
    2. She was so well-known that I was worried.
    [....]
    These sentences seem fine to me. Are you wondering about very and so? Is that why they are in bold? If so, yes, they are fine. We can talk about degrees of being well known. For instance, I am not very well known.

    Added: I'll agree with PetroniusArbiter. I wouldn't use the hyphen if "well known" follows a form of "to be".
     
    Last edited:

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Is the adjective "well-known" correctly used?

    1. People don't notice that because you're still not very well-known.
    2. She was so well-known that I was worried.
    I agree with Petronius in message 3, so the answer is No, they're not correct. In both instances, you can drop the hyphen.

    From GrammarBook:
    Rule 5. When adverbs not ending in -ly are used as compound words in front of a noun, hyphenate. When the combination of words is used after the noun, do not hyphenate.
    Examples:

    The well-known actress accepted her award -- well
    is an adverb followed by another descriptive word; they combine to form one idea in front of the noun.

    The actress who accepted her award was well known -- well known follows the noun it describes, so no hyphen is used.
     
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