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I understand there are numerous questions related to this question but nothing truly clarifies my problem.

I have been trying to understand when I should use hyphens in compound adjectives and I seem to get slightly different examples when doing research on various sites. Given the answered question here it is implied that you should only use hyphens in compound adjectives when used before a noun and not after it. Simple enough, that should be applied throughout. However, it doesn't seem to be the case in numerous instances.

According to the thesaurus' website about compound adjectives it mentions the following:

" Compound adjectives can be used anywhere that other adjectives can. So, they can either come directly before nouns/pronouns or can be used as predicate adjectives together with linking verbs. "

And gives these examples:

  • Reading this book is an eye-opening experience.
  • Even though the car was 10 years old, it still looked brand-new.

It outlines that brand-new should indeed be hyphenated. It is not before any noun and is the end of a sentence. Why? I have seen various instances of compound adjectives being hyphenated after a noun. Are these cases wrong?

Any help would be great! Thanks.

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  • I wouldn't hyphenate brand new in the second example. Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 17:02
  • Any reasoning? Would you refer to the referenced question that you should only hyphenate compound adjectives if they're before a noun?
    – Benji
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 17:37
  • 1
    Yes. He has a brand-new car. The car is brand new. Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 18:36
  • @KateBunting Thank you!
    – Benji
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 19:38

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