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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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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2answers
35k views

'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 ...
6
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2answers
545 views

What is the difference between `-` and `--` [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? Is there any difference between: - and -- or in some cases, a long dash I have seen these two used lots of ...
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1answer
438 views

How to hyphenate a negated compound noun?

We have a term for a process, "defect source assessment". We want to describe a set of processes that are not related to that process. Which of the following (if any) would be correct? non ...
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6answers
5k views

“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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3answers
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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
3k views

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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1answer
2k views

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"?
5
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2answers
3k 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?
5
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2answers
1k 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
2k views

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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1answer
4k 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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2answers
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Noun + participle as adjective phrase

There's a construction in English that allows us to form a compound adjective from a noun and a past participle. Examples: This is a volunteer-built home. Our newspaper is student-run. ...
5
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1answer
310 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. ...
5
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2answers
9k views

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 ...
5
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4answers
241 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 ...
5
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1answer
748 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 ...
5
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2answers
2k views

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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5answers
2k views

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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3answers
3k views

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 ...
4
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4answers
372 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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4answers
686 views

How to write dashes in “a 2-4-room-apartment”?

I want to write in the announcement a description of an eventual apartment, which I am searching as a rental. I am interested in apartments with 2, 3, or 4 rooms. How should I write the compound ...
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
913 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
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
441 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 ...
4
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3answers
157 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 ...
4
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1answer
592 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 ...
4
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2answers
213 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 ...
4
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3answers
570 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
715 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 ...
4
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1answer
83 views

A What-Do-You-Call-It question

In a book, there is this sentence: "My mom would have put this in her What-Have-You-Done-Now? File, but it was SOS to me." -p 19, The SOS File, Betsy Byars. Is there a name for this kind of ...
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2answers
186 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 ...
4
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1answer
442 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
21k 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?
3
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5answers
1k 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?
3
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3answers
395 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 ...
3
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1answer
593 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 ...
3
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2answers
115 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"?
3
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3answers
782 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
412 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" ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
538 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
914 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

“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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2answers
327 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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2answers
548 views

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

val-ue or va-lue ? Is the a rule for this kind of thing?
3
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2answers
305 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, ...
3
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1answer
1k views

When to use -, – and —? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? This is about hyphens (-), en-dashes (–) and em-dashes (—). When to use which one? To be honest, I always use ...