compound adjectives

compound adjectives

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There are pages around on the internet that list English Vocabulary Profile lists that seem to be used as what should be taught at a particular level.  This is always going to be a slightly controversial approach.  Since the EVP is about what past students could do, not what future students should do.  These lists do help possibly triangulate what vocabulary used is most frequently with what students can do at a given level.

In the English Grammar Profile,

point 60 in the category of  ADJECTIVES is defined as

“combining, … an increasing range of compound adjectives.”

However its examples include: ‘up-to-date‘ which is B1 on English Vocabulary Profile, and ‘state-of-the-art” is listed as C1.  “user-friendly” is not listed on the EVP at all.  This then means there is an unclear clash between vocabulary and grammar levels.   For the purposes which are more about vocabulary than grammar, and where we need more examples to explore, it is best to rely on the 14 hyphenated adjectives that the EVP offers at B2:

 bad-tempered grown-up hi-tech last-minute long-distance long-term non-smoking self-confident short-term so-called well-balanced well-built well-organized well-paid

On iWeb corpus,

we can locate 6 or 7 Profile examples at B2 on the left below, and on the right many others:

1 LONG-TERM 649120  

further collocates 5 to the left and right:

1 CARE (NN1 ) 34998


2 HEALTH (NN1 ) 17945


3 EFFECTS (NN2 ) 17121


4 GOALS (NN2 ) 14608


5 GROWTH (NN1 ) 13361
6 SUCCESS (NN1 ) 13141
7 RELATIONSHIPS (NN2 ) 10553
8 INVESTMENT (NN1 ) 9896
9 SHORT-TERM (JJ ) 9863
10 RELATIONSHIP (NN1 ) 9434

2 FULL-TIME 338862 B1 EVP

3 BUILT-IN 256174 (not on EVP)
4 HIGH-QUALITY 225521 (not on EVP)

5 SO-CALLED 216745

1 ” (” ) 123053
2 ‘ (GE ) 24705
3 ISLAMIC (JJ ) 1978
4 EXPERTS (NN2 )

6 WELL-KNOWN 203758 A2
7 HANDS-ON 186346 (not)
8 AWARD-WINNING 183029 (not)
9 THIRD-PARTY 178326 (not)

10 SHORT-TERM 177245


1 LONG-TERM (JJ ) 15186
2 MEMORY (NN1 ) 6863
3 GOALS (NN2 ) 4776
4 RATES (NN2 ) 3708
5 DISABILITY (NN1 ) 3583

11 REAL-TIME 174837
12 IN-DEPTH 170181
13 PART-TIME 165745
14 NON-PROFIT 161994
15 IN-HOUSE 143143
16 HIGH-END 132859
17 DAY-TO-DAY 132483
18 ON-SITE 132027

19 UP-TO-DATE 129520 (B1 on the EVP)

20 ALL-TIME 121894
21 WORLD-CLASS 121080
22 FORWARD-LOOKING 115586

23 STATE-OF-THE-ART 108901 (C1 on the EVP)

24 FOUR-YEAR 95195
25 COST-EFFECTIVE 95158
26 ON-LINE 93917
27 TWO-YEAR 93479
28 LARGE-SCALE 92080
29 ALL-STAR 91096
30 REAL-WORLD 90425
31 HIGH-SPEED 89869
32 FOLLOW-UP 89084
33 YEAR-ROUND 84073
34 ONE-TIME 82581
35 PLUG-IN 82005
36 STEP-BY-STEP 76739
37 FACE-TO-FACE 75653
38 REAL-LIFE 75593
39 E-COMMERCE 74688
40 FIVE-YEAR 72802
41 THREE-YEAR 70988
42 24-HOUR 70159
43 WEB-BASED 70095
44 LOW-INCOME 69976
45 FIRST-TIME 69819
46 GLUTEN-FREE 69582
47 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY 68726
48 LOW-COST 67283
49 CUTTING-EDGE 66344
50 BEST-SELLING 65265
51 HIGH-LEVEL 64587
52 HIGH-PROFILE 64002
53 IN-STORE 63805
54 ADD-ON 63755
55 EASY-TO-USE 63539
56 AFRICAN-AMERICAN 63361
57 OLD-FASHIONED 61518
58 CLOUD-BASED 61164

59 USER-FRIENDLY 59759

60 LONG-TIME 58249
61 ONE-YEAR 58071

62 HIGH-TECH 55708

63 ENTRY-LEVEL 54402
64 ALL-NEW 53912
65 DROP-DOWN 53263
66 LONG-LASTING 53261
67 TIME-CONSUMING 52660
68 3-D 50943
69 TWO-WAY 50820
70 STAND-ALONE 49747
71 EVIDENCE-BASED 49680
72 HIGH-PERFORMANCE 49516
73 10-YEAR 49422
74 LONG-STANDING 49404
75 LIFE-THREATENING 48361
76 PRE-EXISTING 48265
77 ECO-FRIENDLY 47244
78 RIGHT-HAND 46848
79 ONE-WAY 46638
80 SAME-SEX 46588
81 EYE-CATCHING 45917
82 DECISION-MAKING 44041
83 SELF-EMPLOYED 43513
84 BACK-TO-BACK 43353
85 START-UP 43190
86 HIGH-RISK 43104
87 NON-REFUNDABLE 42939
88 NOT-FOR-PROFIT 42684
89 BLU-RAY 42632
90 ALL-IN-ONE 42519
91 YEAR-OLD 42362
92 END-TO-END 41257
93 MAN-MADE 41128
94 FAST-PACED 40451
95 LIKE-MINDED 40443
96 64-BIT 40117
97 ON-GOING 39896
98 TWO-DAY 39792
99 ON-SCREEN 39791
100 TWO-TIME 39603

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