A hyphen is a symbol used to join two words or two syllables of a single word together. It is not to be confused with dashes or the minus symbol, as these are all longer than the hyphen and serve different purposes in language.

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Slashes for hyphens in compound modifiers

Take the phrase "a joint FBI-SFPD task force" for example. According to my boss, a slash can stand in for the hyphen. I tend to disagree. Is this grammatically correct? Stylistically acceptable?
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19 views

What's the definition of a “compound noun phrase”?

As I understand it "a very hot day" is not considered a compound noun phrase, but "a too-hot day", "a far-out idea", and "the recently concluded meeting" are. The difference is not just a matter of ...
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1answer
27 views

Can you leave a hyphen hanging when there is more than one adjective? [duplicate]

When you have 2 adjectives describing one object, do you use 2 hyphens? For example: There are short- and long-form publications.
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37 views

“It's 20 meters thick” versus “It's a 20-meter-thick layer.”

I know that both of these expressions are correct, but I'd like to be able to explain exactly why the first one is correct. Of course compound adjectives are hyphenated (second expression), but in the ...
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29 views

Use of apostrophe or hyphen in money amounts

I'm trying to write a sentence along the lines of "we ordered 200 pounds' worth of stuff", but using the pound sign rather than the word. Possible options: "£200 worth" "£200's worth" "£200-worth" ...
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25 views

Suspended hyphen example

As far as I've seen, it seems like whether or not one should use suspended hyphens is determined on a mostly ad-hoc basis. So, I was wondering if someone could give me advice on whether or not the ...
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1answer
35 views

Hyphenation of a word to a two-word phrase [closed]

How should one treat the hyphenation of a word to a two-word phrase, such as in the example below: something about the qubit-resonator mode frequency detuning. The sentence tries to express: ...
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1answer
32 views

Closed, open, or hyphenated form for “null-space”

What is the correct spelling of the word "null-space"? Merriam-Webster puts it in a hyphenated form "null-space", (link). Wikipedia (link) and MathWorld (link) both put it in either open or closed ...
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40 views

Correct use of endash in range of minutes

I am currently working as a web developer, and will occasionally be asked to update a website. A "client" just send me an update containing this text: A 15-30-minute waiting-period is required ...
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1answer
46 views

Use of a hyphen when using a noun as an adjective

In my academic work (physics), I often use a noun as an adjective, and this seems to be a common practise to avoid long sentences. For instance sphere packing stands for packing made of spheres. Is ...
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2answers
37 views

Does this open compound noun require a hyphen when used as an adjective?

A friend of mine works at a restaurant that sells tortilla soup; however, I think the soup tastes like hot dogs. There are thus three ways to write this: hot dog soup, hot-dog soup, hotdog soup. Only ...
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32 views

Intermediate level student or intermediate-level student?

Intermediate level student or intermediate-level student? Which one is more correct/preferable?
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4answers
90 views

When should hyphens be used to make text clearer

In an earlier post - Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters - a comment was made that "hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous". The phrase prompting this assertion ...
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2answers
52 views

midteens vs. mid-teens

I'm currently reading an article titled "Workers anxiety in a 'gig economy'" by Noam Scheiber from International New York Times. I came across the paragraph below: Last year, 23 percent of ...
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1answer
33 views

Which word is most correct in this case: re-settle or resettle?

In reference to the word settle as it pertains to the specific definition: Determine; decide on: There is some debate internally on whether to use the word resettle which only has one ...
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1answer
53 views

what's the difference between a hyphen, a dash and a minus sign?

hyphen(-), dash(—), minus(-) What do I use when? and does it really matter? And what's their origin, why did people think they needed another very similar sign?
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1answer
45 views

difference between 'inter-city' and 'intercity' [duplicate]

in academic writing, I always note that 'inter-city' and 'intercity' also appear in a same paper in different context. I was wondering whether the two style have any differences? thanks very much ...
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32 views

User login or user-login?

I don't have enough reputation to make comments on this site (what a weird system), so I have to make this a question on its own. I am referencing an answer made to another question about the ...
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3answers
99 views

easy-going vs easy going

Which one is correct: Clive never worries. He's really easy-going. OR Clive never worries. He's really easy going. As per my understanding, hyphen comes between compound adjectives if ...
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62 views

Using hyphen to avoid repeating a word

In Finnish, 'linja-auto' is a bus, and 'rekka-auto' is a truck. If I were to write that I traveled with both I would write Matkustin linja- ja rekka-autolla. The sentence is equal to ...
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0answers
49 views

Where to put the hypen (if any) in “status quo oriented”?

Writing the following sentence, During the negotiation of both regulations, bargaining power was distributed in favour of the status quo oriented states. I wonder where to put a hyphen, if ...
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1answer
89 views

Child-murderer or child murderer?

During an episode of Archer, he criticized a journalist's grammar for her misuse of the word 'child-murderer'. She meant one who murders children, and Archer argued in using the hyphenated form, she ...
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1answer
57 views

Using a hyphen when describing measures (e.g., a 300-meter asteroid) [duplicate]

Here's some examples. Please tell me which ones are right, and which ones are wrong, and why. "A 350-meter asteroid impacted the Moon." "A 350-meters asteroid impacted the Moon." "A 350 meter ...
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49 views

How to use hyphen to form new adjectives?

Writing a chemistry paper I need to form an adjective for the following concept: TiO2 rich in oxygen vacancies. Is this the proper formation for an adjective intended to mean that?: ...
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1answer
45 views

Correct use of hyphens [duplicate]

I am writing a thesis on "Service oriented architectures in safety-critical systems" and this is right where the problem starts. I am a bit curious about the use of hyphens in "service oriented" and ...
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1answer
65 views

Non-residential vs non–residential (short or long hyphen) [duplicate]

Should there be a short or long hyphen separating the two words? Non-residential vs non–residential
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76 views

Mandatory usage of Hyphens?

I have a question regarding the use of hyphens. My native language is German, and there is a set of rules regarding hyphenation. There are mandatory and optional rules for it. Now, Consider the ...
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2answers
80 views

use of hyphens in a compound adjective

I'm currently reading "Assuming a mantle of power" from International New York Times (May 14, 2015), and the article is about a soft power look that female leaders are donning, with pencil skirts and ...
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3answers
69 views

Is “UTF-8-encoded” an overuse of hypens? Does “UTF-8 encoded” require a hyphen?

After reading usage of the phrase "UTF-8 encoded" ("UTF-8-encoded) at, for example, stackoverflow.com, in Howto identify UTF-8 encoded strings, and in an excerpt ...every character can be UTF-8 ...
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17 views

Prefix hyphen and another prefix hyphen [duplicate]

In a sentence reading peri- and post-stimulus is the first hyphen necessary? If not, what alternative structure should be used?
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1answer
48 views

Can I use hyphens after two separate words, using “and” as a connector?

I'm writing a Cover Letter and I'm including the following sentence: "Furthermore, I have a passion for dealing with- and meeting- new people." I recall an English professor suggesting something ...
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4answers
252 views

Hyphenation of tidally enhanced wind mass loss

I am correcting my thesis on stellar evolution, and I was wondering what the correct hyphenation of 'tidally enhanced wind mass loss' is. The meaning of it should be mass loss originating from a wind, ...
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36 views

Are 'short circuited' and 'short-circuited' both correct? [closed]

Are 'short circuited' and 'short-circuited' both correct? On some sites it is written as 'short circuited' ( http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae470.cfm ) and on some other sites it is ...
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934 views

“Almost-finished” versus “almost finished”

I am attaching an almost-finished version of the report. I am attaching an almost finished version of the report. Which is the preferred form, (1) or (2)? Why?
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47 views

Age description and hyphenating

How would I say a toddler is 2 years and 7 months old correctly? Is this right: It is a two-year-seven-month-old toddler. Or do I need an “and” between? I personally think hyphenating here ...
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2answers
71 views

Which is correct, 'self-employed' or 'self employed'? [closed]

In the sentence Self-employed [or Self employed] farmer Belle Vue has lived in the state of Washington all her life. should there be a hyphen between Self and employed?
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42 views

First strike vs. first-strike

I'm a bit confused about when to hyphenate in certain circumstances. Specifically, which of the following would I hyphenate? Launch a first strike Launch a second strike Damage first ...
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2answers
210 views

nonexistent, non-existent or non existent? [duplicate]

I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct? I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.
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57 views

Hyphenation of a multiple adverb-past participle phrase

I am editing a research article, and I came across a phrase that I am having some trouble hyphenating: "the detoxification of both endogenous and exogenous derived acetaldehyde." My thought is that ...
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114 views

Does “One in ten” require hyphens

In the sentence "one in ten people hate..." which is the correct way to refer to 1/10: "One in ten" or "One-in-ten" I'm not too sure if the hyphens are entirely necessary here. I have however seen ...
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1answer
145 views

Why multiple length dashes (em, en, hyphen)? [duplicate]

I'm wondering why there are three different sizes (perhaps more?) for lines that separate characters? I understand the grammatical usage (or rather, I could look it up), but the benefit to readers is ...
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2answers
90 views

What is the correct hyphenation of “human skin tissue emulating gel”?

A type of gel designed to emulate human skin tissue. So, is this a "human skin tissue–emulating gel" (en dash)? Or, is it a "human-skin-tissue-emulating gel" (all hyphens)? Does anyone know the ...
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1answer
156 views

“Would-be” meaning “potential”: must it be hyphenated?

Suppose I write, "Giving exams in class thwarts would-be cheaters." Must "would-be" have a hyphen? Or would it be preferable to write it without a hyphen? (It seems easier to read with the hyphen.) ...
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1answer
38 views

Is it “an urban scale study” or “an urban-scale study”?

I have been reading about the use of a hyphen, and guess this could fall under compound modifiers as explained on Wikipedia, so I am inclined to use urban-scale, but I am not totally sure. Should I ...
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1answer
113 views

Should 'in-principle' be hyphenated?

Is it correct to say, 'your loan has been approved in principle' or 'your loan has been approved in-principle'.
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2answers
93 views

Non in front of hyphenated adjective

If one wishes to add "non" in front of a hyphenated adjective, should one add a hyphen after "non?"
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2answers
362 views

Sugarcane or Sugar cane? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between "sugar cane" and sugarcane? Is sugarcane wrong? What is the gramatical rule for joining two names like that? I have found 13.500 entries on google for sugarcane, but ...
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309 views

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)?

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)? Example from BBC News: Venezuela - a major oil producer - has been heavily affected by the fall in oil prices on ...
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2answers
138 views

Should “Big Bang Theory” be hyphenated? [closed]

A juxtaposition of two of today's questions, Hyphenate or not and What does "zazzy" mean?, prompts this one. Shouldn't one use a hyphen? Or is there a pun I'm missing?
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88 views

Hyphenate or not?

Should I hyphenate the phrase "pedestrian detection algorithm" in the example sentence below? The algorithm is designed to detect pedestrians. However, I am worried that it could be misread as a ...