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Here’s one way to shorten, Simplify your sentences

The expression "50-story building" is an example of a compound adjective+noun term. [Note: I'm using the American spelling of the British word "storey." I am writing from the Philippines where American spelling and other grammar conventions are widely used.]

"50-story" is a compound adjective simply because it is composed of two words that don't have the same meaning. "50-story" is an adjective because it describes the noun "building." Do take note of the hyphen between the words "50" and "story." Kindly remember that the punctuation that connects two or three words to become one term (expression) is called "hyphen." It is not called "dash" or its plural form "dashes." A dash does not connect words"; it has a different function in a sentence.

Please also note that "story" in that term is singular. "Story" has to be singular because it is part of an adjective and adjectives have no plural form. The noun being described is "building."


The term "50-story building" is a shortened and simplified form of "a building that has 50 stories" and "a building with 50 stories." If you don't simplify those two expressions to use them in a sentence, you will come up with long sentences many of which may be complex or compound-complex in structure, thus, making them hard to understand.

Here's a sentence that has the long form of "50-story building":

"My architect father has just designed a building that has 50 stories."

The sentence can be shortened and simplified to: "My architect father has just designed a 50-story building."

It is easier to add more information to a simplified sentence that uses a compound adjective+noun term.

Here's a sample sentence using "50-story building:

"My architect father has just designed a 50-storey building that will be constructed in Cebu City next year."

Incidentally, in the Philippines, one of the most famous compound adjective+noun terms is "monkey-eating eagle," which eventually became even more popular as "Philippine Eagle." Do remember that in "monkey-eating eagle," what is being described is the eagle. It is the eagle that eats monkey--not the other way around.

Here are more examples of sentences with compound adjective+-noun elements. [As an exercise, you may reconstruct them into their long forms.]

1. My Japan-born Spanish-speaking friend has been hired in a multilingual callcenter with a starting salary of P60,000 a month, excluding commissions and other incentives.

[Do notice, please, that the first compound adjective above is "Japan-born"--not JAPANESE-born. "Japan" refers to the place of birth, while Japanese may refer to the language or the citizenship.

[The second compound adjective is "Spanish-speaking," not "Spain-speaking" because that part of the sentence is dealing with language, not place of origin.]

2. Oh, boy! I saw a five-legged bull last night.

3. A seven-foot basketball player is amazing but a seven-footed one is terrifying! [Please pay attention to the difference between "seven-foot" and "seven-footed."]

4. We need more law-abiding citizens than law-breaking ones.

5. All graft-ridden government agencies should be abolished.

If you already know how to construct compound adjective+noun, begin using them habitually to allow you to write shorter information-loaded sentences.

Yes, it's great to be loaded where it matters!

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