I want to indicate that a friend's brother is in high school. For example,

I was not close with my friend's high-school brother.

Is this construction correct? Should it be high-schooler brother instead? Is the hyphen necessary? Or is there another preferred way to say that my friend's brother is in high school?

  • I think you have it exactly right, including the hyphen. The only thing I would say is that I would probably replace "with" with "to". These type of questions are best asked on the English Language Learners site. – WS2 Jul 4 '18 at 18:16
  • How can your friend have a "high-school brother"? (It can mean a brother the friend is close with but not necessarily related by blood). I think it would be better parsed: I was not close with my friend's brother who is in high school. – aesking Jul 4 '18 at 19:11
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    A "high-school brother" would be one who is a brother only in high-school and not at home. You need to say it another way instead. – Kris Jul 5 '18 at 6:48
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    OTOH, "high-school students," "high-school teachers," "high-school subjects" are all proper adjective-noun combinations (noun adjunct+noun). – Kris Jul 5 '18 at 6:49
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    Why not just say 'a friend's brother, who is in high school'? Any attempt to compress this, relatively short and perfectly clear, phrase is likely to introduce some unclarity and/or awkwardness. – jsw29 Jul 5 '18 at 17:37

high schooler (M-W)
Here, high schooler can be noun adjuct to brother:
"I was not close with my friend's high schooler brother."

  • Brilliant, Mr. Down Voter! Then what is the right answer please? – Kris Jul 6 '18 at 6:27

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