Hyphens in Ages (with Examples)
Hyphens in AgesHyphens are used in three types of age-related term:
(1) The compound-noun form.
- A twenty-four-year-old paid the first tribute.
- She is a twenty-four-year-old woman.
- She is twenty-four years old.
Ages As Compound NounsHere are some more examples of the compound-noun form:
- He is a two-year-old with attitude. (This is a compound noun. (It is just like words like ice-axe or cooking-oil, which are also compound nouns.) The words in a compound noun are linked together to show they are a singular entity.)
- I look after three two-year-olds from 9 am to 11 am. (As with most nouns, there is a plural version too.)
Read more about compound nouns.
Ages As Compound AdjectivesHere are some more examples of the compound-adjective form:
- He is a two-year-old horse. (This is a compound adjective. It is no different from an adjective like "two-page" in "two-page document."
- I look after three two-year-old horses. (As with most adjectives, it can modify something singular or plural.)
Read more about compound adjectives.
Ages As Predicate AdjectivesHere are some more examples of the predicate-adjective form:
- Jason is two years old. (The predicate-adjective form appears after a linking verb (here, "is") and after the noun it modifies (here, "Jason"). There is no need to use hyphens in the predicate adjective form.)
- Jason is twenty-two years old. (This version contains a hyphen only because twenty-two is spelled with a hyphen under the rules for writing numbers in full.)