blushing bride to be

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Senior Member
a. I met his blushing bride to be.

Is the sentence correctly punctuated?
Doesn't it need hyphens?

I think it should be
b. I met his blushing bride-to-be.
and the meaning is that the girl is his bride-to-be and is blushing.

Could the sentence mean
c. I met the girl who is to be his blushing bride.

Could the sentence have that meaning if one writes
d. I met his blushing-bride-to-be.

Well, that way 'blushing bride' becomes a unit and I suppose the meaning would be (c). The only problem is that I don't think (d) works.

Many thanks
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Doesn't it need hyphens?
    Yes, most people write compound modifiers like this with hyphens, and it's generally considered clearer and better.

    I agree that the most logical interpretation is B (she is blushing, and a bride-to-be). D is awkward; I don't think we would write something that way and anyway it's tough to predict that someone will blush in the future.
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