Well is adverb and known is adjective. As far as I know, it should not be hyphenated. For example: clearly impossible task, extremely powerful processor.


1 Answer 1


For starters, many words associated with well seems to be hyphenated. Well-fed, well-written. Isn't this because of the fact that clearly, impossible, extremely and powerful are all adjectives, known, fed, and written are not. Well-known functions as an adjective as a whole, perhaps that is the reason why it is hyphenated.

This is a well-known person.

The use case here is that well-known was used as an adjective preceding a subject.

This person is well known.

The above statement works the other way.

  • 1
    Clearly and extremely are adverbs, not adjectives. Known, fed, and written can be adjectives or they can be verbs, and known can even be a noun. Well is an adverb in those instances.
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 4:04

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