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Is it a ball-throwing machine or a ball throwing machine? I think the first? Is there a difference? Is ball-throwing a compound adjective to machine (isn't that strange because you can't really say, the machine is ball throwing), or is the whole phrase ball throwing machine one (open) compound noun?
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Hi,

Is it a ball-throwing machine or a ball throwing machine? I think the first? Yes.

Is there a difference? Yes. In theory, the phrase without a hyphen could refer to a machine that looks like a ball and that throws. ie both adjectives would apply separately to 'machine'.

Is ball-throwing a compound adjective to machine (isn't that strange because you can't really say, the machine is ball throwing), Well, it sounds odd, but I'd understand your meaing if you wrote The machine is ball-throwing.

Clive
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ferdis(isn't that strange because you can't really say, the machine is ball throwing)
Actually, it's a fairly common way of forming adjectives in English.

ball-throwing machine = a machine that can be used to throw balls
tape-splicing machine = a machine that can be used to splice tapes
carpet-cleaning device = a device that can be used to clean carpets

Alternately, ball thrower, tape splicer, carpet cleaner.

Note also: hair-raising experience, wood-burning stove, book-binding materials, deer-hunting season, and even ocean-going liner.

CJ
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