well deserved

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sus4, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese

    I am confused by the usage of "well desserved." Which one of the following sentences is correct (or more common)?

    1) She is well deserved to be...
    2) She is well-deserved to be...
    3) She well deserved to be...

    It sounds like to me that all of the above are correct. The word "well" is an adverb; that is, 1) and 3) are grammatically correct. Also, well-deserved is a predicative adjective and therefore 2) is correct.

    Any thoughts?

  2. eMurray Member

    It is either 3 or 1. Not sure but you can count out 2!
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Only 3 is anything I could potentially turn into a correct sentence.
  4. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    Hi sus4,

    I'm not sure where you want to go with these sentences, but putting "well deserved [hyphen or not]" before "to be" sounds awkward to me. I'd use this construction to as an adjective with a noun: a well-deserved rest, her promotion was well deserved. [Note that with a compound adjective, you hyphenate it when comes before the noun it modifies and don't hyphenate it when it follows the noun -- twentieth-century literature, but literature of the twentieth century.
  5. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese
    Thank you all for your help!

    Thank you, rsweet. I've completely forgotten this rule until now. I was using 3) in my writing, but I wanted to make sure if it was correct. So, I searched similar phrases on the Net and found some "be + well-deserved to be." And I got confused.

    I appreciate your help.
  6. maxiogee Banned

    I would be slow to use the phrase "well deserved" in any form but

    He took a well deserved break.
    Hers was a well deserved victory.

    So (3) is probably the best approximation to how I would use it.
  7. eMurray Member

    I looked it up it's (3.) ;)
  8. DaleC Senior Member

    Only 3 is correct.
    The hyphen has almost no grammatical significance. Whether to use it is determined by other reasons.

    For 1/2, you would say "well deserving".
    "Deserve" is unusual among verbs in occuring frequently with "well" and also in following it. Don't generalize from the syntax, "well deserved". Don't say, "she well sang" or "she well likes beer". You must say, "she sang well" and "she likes beer a lot" or "like beer very much" or "really likes beer".
  9. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese
    This is the reason I had to make sure the correct usage of "deserve." I wasn't 100% sure if it was okay to use "well" before the verb "deserve." Thanks for your help!
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    That can often be helpful information, even to confirm others' views; but to be really helpful you should tell us where you looked.

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