EN: thank-you / everyday - compound adjectives with/without a hyphen


Senior Member
French - Switzerland

Some uses of the English adjectives can seem very strange to French speaking people, especially their spelling!

Here are some examples:
The words "thank you" can become an adjective, like in: a thank-you letter

The expression "every day": write about your everyday routine.

My question is: is there a rule to spell these adjectives? How do we know if we must join the words with a "-" or write them in one word?

Thank you for your answers

  • radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    The general rule is that such adjectival phrases should be joined with a hyphen. However, for certain compounds, the closed spelling (i.e., with neither space nor hyphen) is usual, and these must be learnt as vocabulary items. Sometimes, both spellings are acceptable.


    Senior Member
    French - Belgium
    I agree, there is no hard and fast rule. Another joy of English, which has nothing to do with French learners of English.
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