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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“Runtime”, “run time”, and “run-time”

The CLR under .NET is referred to as the "Common Language Runtime." It seems that the convention is "runtime" for a noun and "run-time" for the adjective. Is this correct or should it be "runtime" ...
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Is there a grammar rule behind the hyphen in the phrase 'one-act play'?

I noticed that the phrase 'one-act play' always uses a hyphen between 'one' and 'act'. Is there a grammar rule in play here, how does it work?
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2answers
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Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re”

In semi-formal business writing in the United States, I often observe that writers tend to add a hyphen between a prefix and the root infinitive of verbs. In many of the cases, the resulting verb ...
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How to say “the project that we are working on” in a short phrase?

I want a short phrase for "the project that we are working on". Could it be "our working-on project"?
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2answers
1k views

Which is right: “drop-down” or “drop down”?

What is the proper way to write this term when writing product documentation? Hyphenated or not? drop down list or drop-down list?
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832 views

When to use a hyphen to coin a new word and when to omit a hyphen?

Someone has asked for answer to these topics. However, I still want someone to provide me with simple and universal answers. I recently read a sentence from the English-speaking person. It is in an ...
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2answers
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Ways to write “2000 year old”

Which of the following are correct and which are wrong? The 2000-year-old computer The 2000 year-old computer The 2000 year old computer The 2000-years-old computer The 2000 years-old computer The ...
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2answers
6k views

Which is correct, “on-line” or “online”?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line ...
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2answers
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Use of hypens with “auto”: autopopulate, auto-populate, or auto populate?

I've done a fair amount of research (like here), but I can't find any examples of hyphen rules with "auto". Microsoft Word doesn't take "autopopulate", but will accept either auto-populate or auto ...
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5answers
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Differences between “coordinate” (n.) and “co-ordinate” (n.)

I can't seem to spot any differences or usages where one would use the hyphenation version versus the non. According to Online Etymology they both point to coordinate. I can see co-ordinate (v.) ...
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1answer
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“Logged-in”, “log-ined”, “login-ed”, “logined”, “log-in-ed”, “logged in”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “log in to” or “log into” or “login to” This following question, where and how to append "-ed", is not addressed in thу "possible ...
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'well-organised' or 'well organised' - hyphenated?

Should I hyphenate the term 'well organised'? The context, if it matters, is the following sentence: For this role you should be well organised and analytical with some research ability. (I see ...
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1answer
632 views

Hyphenating “steady state” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? I am unsure if and when to hyphenate steady state (in a mathematical context), i.e.: We now calculate the steady-state ...
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2answers
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When describing something's colour, would you hyphenate the words? Eg, “blood-red” versus “royal blue”

Generally, as a rule, I always hyphenate words to make them into a single adjective, so I've been putting "blood-red", "forest-green", "royal-blue" and the like, but the moment I typed "royal-blue", ...
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Can there be a hyphen in “nonlinear”?

As the title says, I'm wondering if "non-linear" is an acceptable spelling of the word "nonlinear." A bit of research on this site turns up Is the use of a hyphen between "non" and an ...
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4answers
275 views

Is it usual to use “full-cry” as a stand-alone adjective?

Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Spellbound by Blondes, Hot and Icy” appearing in December 1st NY-Times jumps from Alfred Hitchcock’s favor of blonde actresses to the dispute of Hillary Clinton’s ...
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How to use hyphens appropriately when listing multiple hyphenated terms?

If multiple hyphenated terms share the same latter half, and I wish to list them without repeating that latter half, how should the hyphens be placed? For example: I will be investigating control ...
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1answer
227 views

What is the origin of the rule for omitting the suffix of a hyphenated word?

I can't remember where or how, but I was taught that one can/should omit the post-hyphen (suffix?) part of a word if it is being grouped with another hyphenated word with the same post-hypen portion. ...
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2answers
787 views

Hyphen in the noun 'switching-off'? Or gerunds of compound verbs, more generally?

I'm currently proof-reading my girlfriend's Ph.D. thesis (neither of us are native speakers) and I came across the following sentence snippet: "the switching-off induces eddy currents", and the word ...
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1answer
702 views

Does one hyphenate height when given in feet and inches?

In a work of fiction I'm writing, I'm using the colloquial phrase five-one to refer to someone's height. Should that be hyphenated as five-one, or should it just be written woth a space separating the ...
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1answer
206 views

Non-obvious or nonobvious?

I've seen both, even in the same Wikipedia article entry. Is there a right and wrong version, or is either version OK as long as I'm consistent? I'm using the word in the context of patent law, as in ...
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137 views

Multiple hyphens make this phrase feel unwieldy… but are they right?

I'm writing a paper in which I refer to "natural-language-controlled robots" about thirty times. I'm curious about this phrase's hyphenation. I would write robots controlled by natural language ...
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1answer
440 views

Breaking last word in the lines [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the rules for splitting words at the end of a line? In printed texts, especially those with narrow columns, it's necessary from time to time to divide the last ...
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2answers
163 views

Hyphenating complex physical units

I have been reading about writing conventions for scholarly articles recently - specifically, physics - and have learned that when writing units, write them out if they are not associated with a ...
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Is a badly-written book a book [which has been] badly written?

This question is prompted by the earlier question Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb? Please don't close this as a dup unless there's a later answer ...
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581 views

Hyphenation or blending

Are there any rules when to write a set of two (or more) words or abbreviations forming a name of some entity as separate, when to hyphenate, and when to stick them together? These are my findings ...
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3 meter square area vs 3 square meter area

A. 3 meter square area B. 3 square meter area I’m wondering what the easiest way is to clearly express the difference between A and B above. In A, one side is 3 (meters). In B, one side is ...
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2answers
173 views

Is it an “Ngram” or an “n-gram”? [closed]

I made an edit to a question and the portion mentioning the n-gram chart was reverted. I was reading the Wikipedia article about n-grams and added the hyphen based on that usage. This article says ...
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1answer
394 views

May en-dashes be used in sports scores?

The accepted answer to the authoritative question When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? currently has this to say regarding the en-dash: An en-dash is use to connect values in a ...
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3answers
16k views

“on time” vs. “on-time”

I'm in the "on-time" camp when it comes to describing, for example, delivering something by the deadline. Is this the correct usage?
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5answers
946 views

Does “cost-benefit ratio” use a hyphen or an en-dash?

Should I write "cost-benefit" (hyphen) or "cost–benefit" (en dash), and why?
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3answers
370 views

How does one correctly use a “-” outside of hyphenation - if at all?

When writing out emails I often find myself replacing semicolons with hyphens or dashes. For example, "Let's meet up at the pub - or would you rather go to a restaurant?" I feel this is wrong, but I ...
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1answer
485 views

Is “They all had 15 minutes waits” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” I was reading an article that used the phrase "15 ...
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112 views

HTTP-port or HTTP port?

Should I use dash in a port name, e.g. http-port, ftp-port, or it's more correct to omit the dash, like "http port", "ftp port"?
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3answers
371 views

“Hardware-counter-based tools” or “hardware-counter based tools”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? How to connect a word and a phrase with a hyphen? "One-Day Only Promotion" or "One-Day-Only Promotion" ...
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4answers
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Use of hyphens when writing repeated compound words that have common parts

In my native language, Norwegian, one uses hyphens when stating two or more copulated compound words that has common parts (words). In a thesis I'm working on, should I write test specimens, test ...
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502 views

“Raspyness” vs “raspy-ness”

If I'm talking about someone's voice is raspyness or raspy-ness correct? The raspyness of Cobain’s voice adds another layer of complexity to the song. The raspy-ness of Cobain’s voice adds ...
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3answers
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Hyphen or no hyphen when modifying an adjective with a quantity?

I have a sentence which has an object that is described with an adjective: We need to inform our interested patrons of this change. If I modify "interested" with "more" or "less", do I connect ...
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3answers
681 views

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized?

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized? "a wireless g network"? "a wireless-g network"? "a wireless-G network"? "a wireless G network"? none of the above? Does a formal ...
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1answer
774 views

Multiple compound words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to connect a word and a phrase with a dash? Hello, I'm a non-native English speaker and I'm writing a scientific paper about biometric identification based on heart ...
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2answers
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“One-Day Only Promotion” or “One-Day-Only Promotion”

A copywriter I'm working with wrote "One-Day Only Promotion" but my feeling is that "One-Day-Only Promotion" is correct. The first three words describe 'Promotion'. I know you don't hyphenate adverbs, ...
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1answer
489 views

Correct spelling and/or hyphenation for electronic commerce

What is the correct spelling and/or hyphenation for the abbreviation of electronic commerce? I have seen the following variations. eCommerce E-Commerce ECommerce E-commerce
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257 views

What's the logic behind adjectives constructed with a hyphen?

I'll give you a lovecraftian stanza: Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber, Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night, I have liv’d o’er my lives without number, I have sounded all things ...
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445 views

How to pronounce or hyphenate the word 'value'? [closed]

val-ue or va-lue ? Is the a rule for this kind of thing?
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2answers
261 views

Repetition of hyphen in shared prefixes [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a hyphen be used without anything on the right side? I'm trying to discuss types of semiconductor, there is P-type and N-type. Assuming my hyphenation is correct, ...
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“Stand up comedy”, “standup comedy”, or “stand-up comedy”?

I've seen all three versions for describing a person on stage performing comedy: "stand up", "standup", and "stand-up". My guess is that the term started as two words, but as the performance form ...
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Is it normal to separate hyphenated words on different lines?

I'm typing in Microsoft Word, and it automatically separated the word T-shirt when it ran out of room: blah blah blah, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, I have a T- shirt leaving just the letter "T" ...
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1answer
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Approximating Fancy Punctuation

Is it ever okay (or acceptable in modern casual usage) to approximate an ellipse glyph '…' with three full-stops '...' or spaced full-stops '. . .'? The textbooks say you shouldn't, ...
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Should it be “mid 80s” or “mid-80s”?

When discussing temperatures or decades, should it be hyphenated? I understood that two-word adjectives need to be hyphenated, but why does MS Word think this should be, too?
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Should anti- and counterclockwise be hyphenated?

I've got a document in which I'm defining counterclockwise and mentioning that it is sometimes also called anti-clockwise. The document is in American English, and generally in line with the Chicago ...