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highly sought-after

English translation: sought-after

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:recherché
English translation:sought-after
Entered by: Sylvie Brideau
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13:09 Mar 20, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Marketing
English term or phrase: highly sought-after
In the expression "highly sought-after" product, can anyone give me the grammar rule (Canada) determining where the hyphen should be. My instinct is to put it between "sought" and "after", but I cannot find a grammar reference to back this up. I'd appreciate any help...

Sylvie
Sylvie Brideau
Canada
Local time: 03:39
highly sought-after
Explanation:
I looked it up in Longman's Dictionary Of Contemporary English.

Sought-after adj wanted by a lot of people but rare or difficult to get: much/highly sought-after
Bryce became a much sought-after defense laywer.

Hope this helps!
Selected response from:

Christina Clark
Denmark
Local time: 09:39
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5explanationxxxAnneM
5 +4highly sought-after
Christina Clark
4 +3To shift the question focus just a bit. . .Fuad Yahya
5Re: CanadaWerner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
4 +1it's grammatically logical not to split the verb collocation, which explains the place of the hyphenTatiana Neroni


  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
explanation


Explanation:
When you have various adjectives before a noun you use a hyphen when the first adjective defines the second adjective rather than the noun.

eg. a long boring phone call (no hyphen because long qualifies phone call as does boring.

BUT-
a long-awaited phone call

long here qualifies awaited rather than phone call
Hope this helps you

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Note added at 2002-03-20 13:22:40 (GMT)
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I\'ve realised I haven\'t really helped you with your question. I think you\'re right in \'highly sought-after product\'
highly is an adverb and qualifies sought-after and normally adverbs don\'t need hyphen
a beautifully made bag.
seek after is a phrasal verb and when these are used as nouns or qualifying adjectives/participles they often take a hyphen


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-03-20 18:33:20 (GMT)
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I correct my sentence, seek after is not a phrasal verb but the logic is the same when a verb and its dependent participle are functioning as a qualifier before a noun :-)

xxxAnneM
Local time: 09:39
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Bilingualduo
2 mins

agree  Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
5 mins

neutral  Christina Clark: 'seek' on it's own cannot be a phrasal verb. A phrasal verb is by definition a group of words that is used like a verb and consists of a verb with an adverb or preposition. Sought-after is an adjective.
25 mins
  -> to the best of my knowledge 'seek after' (not 'seek' on its own)is a phrasal verb, here it's been used as an adjective yes, but one which originates from past participle form of the verb 'seek after'

neutral  Margaret Lagoyianni: a verb becomes a phrasal verb when the paticle (adverb, prep. etc) which accompanies it changes the meaning of the verb. An example is 'turn the radio down'. this is not the case with 'seek after'
2 hrs
  -> yes, you're right.

agree  Maria Knorr
5 hrs

agree  xxxDiego V
5 hrs

neutral  John Kinory: A long, boring phone-call, no?
7 hrs
  -> I give up :-) hyphenated nouns are a whole new ball game which I don't feel like playing! Personally I would never hyphenate phone call, the comma if you wish, or 'and' in the middle, or whatever.. :-)

agree  xxxivw
5 days
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
highly sought-after


Explanation:
I looked it up in Longman's Dictionary Of Contemporary English.

Sought-after adj wanted by a lot of people but rare or difficult to get: much/highly sought-after
Bryce became a much sought-after defense laywer.

Hope this helps!


    Longman's Dictionary Of Contemporary English
Christina Clark
Denmark
Local time: 09:39
Native speaker of: Danish
PRO pts in pair: 9

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
3 mins

agree  Antonio Costa
14 mins

agree  Margaret Lagoyianni
2 hrs

agree  Nicole Dargere
9 hrs
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Re: Canada


Explanation:
Sylvie,

The above answers are perfect: highly sought-after ...

I just wanted to confirm that this is perfectly alright for the Canadian market as well.

Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 03:39
PRO pts in pair: 4
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
it's grammatically logical not to split the verb collocation, which explains the place of the hyphen


Explanation:
Sought-after is a derivative (Participle II) from the verb "to seek after".

This combination is called in grammar a verb collocation: A combination of a verb and a preposition where the preposition cannot be dropped without changing (sometimes drastically) the meaning of the remaining verb.

Examples:

To give - self-explanatory;
To give IN
To give UP - totally different meanings.

These are verb collocations.

English is a language where verb collocations is a very popular means of word-formation.

In this respect I would distinguish "long-awaited" from "sought-after" in terms of how they were formed.

Although "to seek" and "to seek after" are synonyms differing only in degree of desire to get something (and in frequency/ compatibility of usage), the expression "to seek after" is still an indivisible verb collocation (not such a bright version as "give in", "give up" etc., though).

So when it's used as a derivative, in this context as a Participle II serving in the sentence as an attribute, it should be presented in a sort of "togetherness" which is attained through hyphenation.

That's why it's grammatically illogical to put hyphenation any place else other than between the members of the original collocation from which the derivative has sprung.

Tatiana Neroni
PRO pts in pair: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  John Kinory: Long-awaited & sought-after are the reverse of each other, in a sense at least. See Fuad below on when NOT to hyphenate.
3 hrs
  -> Yes, Fuad's answer is really perfect (as always). Thank you, John.
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
To shift the question focus just a bit. . .


Explanation:
. . . I believe the question you may want to consider is not where to put the hyphen (I know you would not put it after "highly"), but rather whether a hyphen is called for between "sought" and after, and under what circumstances.

You would not put a hyphen after "highly" because simple adverbs feel quite comfortable sitting next to the adjectives they qualify without any hyphenation, thank you: a highly motivated worker, a highly recommended diet, a highly endorsed candidate, etc.

So why put a hyphen between "sought" and "after"?

The two words by themselves do not always require a hyphen. It is the use of the phrase "sought after" as an adjective qualifying a noun that calls for the hyphen. To illustrate what I mean, consider the following example:

"These cashmere vests are highly sought after."

In this case, no hyphen is called for. Here, the adjective "sought after" serves as a sentence complement. Parallel sentences:

- This proposal needs to be carefully looked at.

- This house has been broken into.

- The bishop has been spoken to regarding the annulment.

etc.

When, however, the adjective "sought after" serves to modify an explicit noun, you need the hyphen for a very practical reason, namely to make sure that the reader construes "after" as part of the phrase "sought after," and not as a preposition aimed at the noun that follows:

- These are highly sought-after sweaters.

Here, "sought after" is one unit. The hyphen helps maintain that logic.

Fuad


Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tatiana Neroni
2 hrs

agree  John Kinory: Perfect.
3 hrs

agree  xxxivw
5 days
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