1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Wide awake or wide-awake?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Nov 28, 2011.

    At 7 a.m. I was wide awake.
    At 7 a.m. I was wide-awake.

    Different dictionaries show different results.
    Thanks.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me, it would depend on how it was used:

    By that time I was wide awake.

    versus

    She stared at me with wide-awake eyes.

    Googling tells me that it's wide-awake "or wide awake when postpositive". Googling further tells me that I don't understand the difference between predicative and postpositive adjectives and I should study more.

    ChickenFreak
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    You're not the only one, CF :)
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenFreak View Post
    To me, it would depend on how it was used:

    By that time I was wide awake.

    versus

    She stared at me with wide-awake eyes.

    Googling tells me that it's wide-awake "or wide awake when postpositive". Googling further tells me that I don't understand the difference between predicative and postpositive adjectives and I should study more.

    ChickenFreak
    That's like greek to me. :D
    (Sheez, what are they? I have never even heard of them.)
     
  5. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Check out this website for the definitions of attributive, predicative, and postpositive adjectives: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/adjectiv/attribut.htm
    The little quiz thinger they have at the end is useful, too.

    As for your original question, lameri, the first sentence ("At 7 a.m. I was wide awake.") would be correct because "wide" is being used to modify the original adjective "awake." Take a look at the sentence if you substituted "barely" or "almost" in for "wide"; you wouldn't need a hyphen.

    This is opposed to if "wide-awake" were being used as a single adjective, as in ChickenFreak's example ("She stared at me with wide-awake eyes.").
     
  6. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    Bah. Sorry...double post. :/
     
  7. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    This should make things simpler...that is, if *I* understand it now.

    "wide-awake" is a compound adjective: He was in a wide-awake state of consciousness.
    "wide awake" is an predicative adjective (wide)/adjective: He was wide awake.

    If "wide-awake" is modifying a noun, hyphenate it. If "wide" is modifying "awake," don't.

    Did that make any sense to anybody?
     

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