Modifiers (how to combine)



I would like to know which of the following is right:

    1 - environmental friendly manner
    2 - environment friendly manner
    3 - environmentally friendly manner

K. Yuen


To answer this question, it is helpful to begin at the end of the phrase. The noun is manner. What kind of "manner" is it? A friendly manner [adjective (friendly) + noun (manner)]. Note that "friendly" is an adjective even though it ends in -ly.

In what way is it friendly? It is environmentally friendly [adverb (environmentally) modifying an adjective (friendly)]. So, the correct phrase is environmentally friendly manner, #3 in your list above.

There's one other possibility, although this would be rather unusual. If you change the modifiers to a single unit (by adding a hyphen), you could possibly say an environment-friendly manner (noun-adjective combination), #2, but modified, in your list above. However, most people would use and understand environmentally friendly manner much more easily.

#1, Environmental friendly manner, is neither a logical nor meaningful phrase.

Barbara Matthies