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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    During the robbery at a jewellery shop

    Would you please correct the mistakes in my sentences?

    During the robbery at a jewellery shop, the owner who was tied-up managed to free his hands and set off the alarm. It caused panic among the robbers, who fled the scene with a few gold items.

  2. Moderator
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    #2

    Re: During the robbery at a jewellery shop

    Write ...the owner, who had been tied up, managed to free his hands....

    There's no hyphen here in "tied up". Hyphenate the phrase only when it's a compound adjective: the tied-up owner.

    While writing this I realized I don't know how to describe "tied up" in who had been tied up.​ Is that an adjectival phrase? If so, how can learners distinguish it from a compound adjective? Is the only clue that the compound adjective comes before the noun that it modifies?
    I am not a teacher.

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: During the robbery at a jewellery shop

    GoesStation,
    I am wondering how it sounds to you as a native speaker if I use "the tied-up owner" like this:

    During the robbery at a jewellery shop, the tied-up owner managed to free his hands and set off the alarm.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: During the robbery at a jewellery shop

    That sounds unnatural to me. A native speaker would be able to work out what you meant but it might well mark you out as a non-native speaker.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: During the robbery at a jewellery shop

    I agree with EMS. The reader sees the adjective tied-up immediately contradicted by the action in the sentence.
    I am not a teacher.

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