Compound Words Exercise (761)

In each sentence, a compound word or phrase is incorrectly open, closed, or hyphenated. Identify the incorrect word or phrase and style it correctly.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Whenever there’s a breakdown in official communication, information is passed through word of mouth.
Correct : Whenever there’s a breakdown in official communication, information is passed through word-of-mouth.

"Word-of-mouth" is hyphenated.

2.
Original: She accused the attorney-general of whitewashing the incident.
Correct : She accused the attorney general of whitewashing the incident.

"Attorney general" is an open compound.

3.
Original: He claims to have the knowhow, but he can’t even tie his own shoe laces.
Correct : He claims to have the knowhow, but he can’t even tie his own shoelaces.

"Shoelaces" is a closed compound.

4.
Original: The stockholders’ meeting wasn’t exactly a nailbiter.
Correct : The stockholders’ meeting wasn’t exactly a nail-biter.

"Nail-biter" is hyphenated.

5.
Original: They were black-listed based on vague charges of wrongdoing.
Correct : They were blacklisted based on vague charges of wrongdoing.

"Blacklisted" is a closed compound.

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