"The other three top selling mobile phone brands between 2009 and 2013 were LG, ZTE and Apple"

I would like to ask if I can write " ... three top mobile phone selling brands..."

Is it grammatically correct? And if it is, is there any differences in meaning between the two ways of writing?

Many thanks.

  • 1
    It looks like "top" is modifying "selling, so I would keep them together. Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:08
  • 1
    "top-selling" is a compound adjective: the mobile phone brands which are the 'top sellers'. You suggested sentence does not make sense to me: what is a "selling brand"?
    – TrevorD
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:13
  • I get your point because top selling is quite common and natural, but I tend to think "top" is modifying "Brands", and top's role in this sentence is just the same as those of "mobile phone" and "selling" which are playing as adjectives
    – Tinh Le
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:15
  • 1
    If you would like to have it modify "brands", you have to remove "selling". It doesn't sound natural. Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


As others highlighted, consider "top selling" as one and "mobile phone brands" as one. So it'll be "top selling mobile phone brands".

  • I understand it now, thanks Usman!
    – Tinh Le
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 15:22

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