Environment-friendly or environmentally friendly?

  • tokyo_tintin

    Member
    Canada - English
    "Environmentally friendly" is more certainly much more widespread, as CarlosRapido points out, but both are grammatically correct.

    "Environmentally friendly" (no hyphen) is an adverb modifying an adjective.
    "Environment-friendly" (hyphen necessary) is an phrasal adjective.

    Words with an adjective form (environment > environmental) could use either style. Words without an adjective form must use the second style (dolphin-friendly tuna, user-friendly programme, gay-friendly bar). This is why, in the interest of unity, I suppose, many gammarians prefer the latter.
     
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    macgabe

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Agree with above 2 comments. Unlike dolphin-friendly tuna, which can't be said another way, you can say environmentally-friendly, and most people do, and so you should! But the other version is still technically OK, and who knows, maybe over time will become more common since it's shorter and a bit easier to say.

    P.S. Can't remember if there should be a hyphen or not in environmentally-friendly tuna - I think I'd use one, but I may be wrong.
     

    tokyo_tintin

    Member
    Canada - English
    No hyphen is needed to link an adverb to the word it is describing. One wouldn't write "He is running-quickly" (modifying a verb) or "She is terribly-unhappy" (modifying an adjective) or "It is changing very-quickly" (modifying an adverb).
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    What if I want say something is not environmentally friendly? Can I say "environmentally unfriendly" or "environment-unfriendly"?
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    P.S. Can't remember if there should be a hyphen or not in environmentally-friendly tuna - I think I'd use one, but I may be wrong.
    This tuna is environmentally friendly (no hyphen)
    This is environmentally-friendly tuna (hyphen obligatory).

    << Second topic removed. >>

    We need to join the two words (with a hyphen or as a single word) when they come before the noun, to show that they are acting together as an adjective.
     
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    CarlosRapido

    Senior Member
    français - English (Can)
    << Topic drift: removed. >>

    The difference being;
    This tuna is environmentally friendly (no hyphen) = adverb
    This is environmentally-friendly tuna (hyphen obligatory) = adjective
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    << Topic drift: removed. >>

    The difference being;
    This tuna is environmentally friendly (no hyphen) = adverb
    This is environmentally-friendly tuna (hyphen obligatory) = adjective
    :confused:
    Environmentally friendly - adverb modifying an adjective, which is the subject complement following "is".
    Environmentally-friendly - adverb modifying an adjective, preceding the noun the adjective modifies, and so hyphenated by convention to make a compound adjective.
     
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    sanfera2

    Member
    Spanish
    No hyphen is needed to link an adverb to the word it is describing. One wouldn't write "He is running-quickly" (modifying a verb) or "She is terribly-unhappy" (modifying an adjective) or "It is changing very-quickly" (modifying an adverb).
    That's not the point. You're comparing two different structures here. In your examples, the adverb is at the end. In the case of "environmentally-friendly" there are two adverbs, but put together as one word which works as an adjective, and that's why the hyphen is necessary. From my point of view as a linguist, I would use it with the hyphen, no doubt.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    In the case of "environmentally-friendly" there are two adverbs,
    No, "friendly" is an adjective, not an adverb. Many adverbs are formed by adding "-ly" to an adjective, but here an adjective is formed by adding "-ly" to a noun. There are other examples, such as "gentlemanly".
     

    sanfera2

    Member
    Spanish
    No, "friendly" is an adjective, not an adverb. Many adverbs are formed by adding "-ly" to an adjective, but here an adjective is formed by adding "-ly" to a noun. There are other examples, such as "gentlemanly".
    Oh, thank you! I knew this meaning of "friendly", but didn't realize it was an adjective here. Anyways, I said the whole word is an adjective.

    Thanks!
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    but didn't realize it was an adjective here
    In standard modern English "friendly" is always an adjective. It was used as an adverb in the past, but its adverbial use now seems to be only in American colloquial English.
     
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    sanfera2

    Member
    Spanish
    In standard modern English "friendly" is always an adjective. It was used as an adverb in the past, but it's adverbial use now seems to be only in American colloquial English.
    Thank you, Andygc! I guess this is something a non-native English speaker does not realize if it is not taught.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Other examples are costly, disorderly, manly, womanly, and deathly. None of these are adverbs and they are all derived from nouns, not adjectives.
     
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