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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“adjective noun noun”: which noun does the adjective refer to (“electrical system operators”) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does the hyphen change the meaning in expressions like “high performance” and “high-performance”? Is there a grammar rule behind the hyphen in the phrase 'one-act play'? ...
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What is the proper hyphenation of “and a half” in the context of age? [duplicate]

I'm trying to write "3 and a half year old," as in, "He is a 3 and a half year old dog". I know a hyphen or two is supposed to go in there somewhere. Per Ways to write "2000 year old" , ...
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Which is correct: 'pass-through' or 'passthrough' or 'pass through'? [closed]

Which is correct: pass-through or passthrough or pass through? I googled to find the correct wording, but found the 3 and not sure at all what is the correct one and/or there is a some domain ...
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2answers
11k views

reestablish vs. re-establish

Which form of this word is more appropriate for general use? I would expect someone to misread reestablish more often than re-establish, however it is more consistent in context with renew, ...
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2answers
357 views

Is it acceptable to italicize a compound descriptor instead of hyphenating it?

I'm having a disagreement about how to treat a compound descriptor like "This is one of those everyone-shut-up-and-go-away kind of days." It has been claimed to me that this descriptor can just as ...
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2answers
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Should a hyphen be used when constructing words using suffixes such as “-ly” and “-wise” when the resulting word isn't in the dictionary?

Should a hyphen be used when constructing words using suffixes such as -ly and -wise when the resulting word isn't in the dictionary? For example: money-wise moneywise Which one is better?
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1answer
333 views

Parentheses vs. commas vs. hyphen or dash in a list of people

In a list of people published in a bulletin, which is correct? We continue in prayer for: Amy B.(cancer), T. Jones(nephew of Tim), Lillie (on the death of her brother), Sally(Nursing Home), ...
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When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: To hyphenate or not? What is the proper way to spell "side dish"? Is it: "side dish" or "side-dish"? Also, Is it "ham-fried" or "ham fried"? Basically, when do you use ...
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1answer
49 views

Hyphenation in “high frequency words”

My granddaughter's first-grade reading papers frequently use the term "high frequency words." I'm guessing it refers to words used frequently. But, if the term "high frequency words" is correctly ...
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1answer
43 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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848 views

Hyphenation of “left hand side”

I would like to know exactly where (or whether) "the right hand side", "the left hand wall", etc. should be hyphenated.
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Space before/after emdash or not? [duplicate]

I have seen style manuals suggest that there be no space between emdash and the surrounding words. The following NY times article has spaces in the first sentence: "An expression of concern by ...
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3answers
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Slash or hyphen in constructions that imply a combination?

Would you use hyphens or slashes in constructions that imply a combination? Examples: A yard group / yard steering conflict (meaning a conflict between a yard group and yard steering) A building ...
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1answer
673 views

Capitalization and hyphenation for prefixed adjectives derived from proper names in mathematics

In mathematics, it often occurs that the last names of famous mathematicians are used as adjectives with mathematical meaning. Most of these adjectives are written with a capital letter. Then, ...
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2answers
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Should I say “3 half days” or “3 half-days” or “3 half-day”?

Should I say "3 half days" or "3 half-days" or "3 half-day"? I mean I want to refer to, for example, the a.m. of Monday, the p.m. of Wednesday, and the a.m. of Friday, together.
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3answers
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What's the double hyphen after greetings in emails?

I usually see just format in the emails I receive daily: Hello Dorian-- I'm calling you in regard with the something... Thanks, I see comma after the greetings too but I am not sure ...
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1answer
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More dastardly dashes: what are the 'horizontal bar' and 'figure dash' characters for? [closed]

Having read another excellent answer regarding the use of horizontal line-like characters, I'm interested to know the meanings of the horizontal bar and figure dash. In the other answer linked above, ...
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1answer
379 views

When to spell out non-alphanumeric characters?

If a term contains non-alphanumeric characters, when (if ever) should these characters be spelled out? For example: C++   written as   C Plus Plus ...
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1answer
56 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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1answer
251 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
354 views

how do I use a hyphen when defining an acronym in the middle of the term?

Example: "Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level unemployment" I need a hyphen between "Area" and "level". Later in the document the term appears as "MSA-level". Should it be: "Metropolitan ...
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3answers
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Noun phrase converted to verb, is a hyphen needed?

When "air kiss" is treated as a verb, as in "they air kissed", should it be hyphenated to "air-kissed"?
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1answer
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When adding prefixes to noun phrases, should you hyphenate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase When adding a prefix to a noun, I've been taught to usually ...
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2answers
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“On or off campus” vs. “On- or off-campus” vs. “On-campus or off-campus”

It does not matter if a student lives __ as ... I'm writing a formal report. Which of the following should I use to fill in the blank? Which one is correct and more formal and looks/sounds ...
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1answer
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Using hyphen and quote marks in composed term? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? I want to write a term composed out of multiple words, and I would like to know whether I have to use ...
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1answer
491 views

How to capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title [duplicate]

How should I capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title? e.g. "Make-up" or "Make-Up" (noun) "Strap-on" or "Strap-On" (noun) "Stripped-down" or "Stripped-Down" (adj.) ...
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Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb?

Which of these are acceptable? Is one preferable over the other? "Chemically-deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." "Chemically deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." Also, is the title to ...
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2answers
221 views

Question on hyphenated words

My niece and I do the layout and editing for books. Lately, she has started letting her program hyphenate words at the ends of sentences to avoid the rivers of white you see otherwise. This has ...
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1answer
654 views

Is “teen-ager” correct? Still used? Etymology?

I was reading an article in The New York Times published in 1990 and came across the spelling of teenager as 'teen-ager'; is this American spelling? Archaic? The young man, who often said he only ...
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2answers
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Correct hyphenation for conjunction of hyphenated compound adjectives

Consider the following sentence: The labour-intensive and time-intensive part starts tomorrow. I want to write this without rewriting the word "intensive." Is this the correct way to do it? ...
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717 views

Is it preferable to generally use nested prepositional phrases or a hyphenated adjectival phrase?

I've recently run into some sticky situations involving how to write out complicated concept descriptions. Take this example: Which metrics are appropriate for evaluating the accuracy of a ...
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1answer
642 views

How do I write 'first and second order' properly?

I am writing about first-order and second-order quantities. Should I put one hyphen, as in "first and second-order", or two, as in "first- and second-order". Or should I do something ...
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1answer
34 views

Other special hyphenation examples than eight-teen

According to The TeXbook [Don Knuth, 1984], solution to Exercise 14.8, the word eighteen should be hyphenated eight-teen. It is, indeed, standard practice in pre-reform German to contract triple ...
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1answer
57 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
589 views

Use of hyphens when qualifying a noun

I am editing a bit of text, and I need to know: should there be a hyphen in the following passage? "While transecting the designated territory, survey-team members collected numerous artifacts." ...
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1answer
595 views

Hyphen in physical quantities before nouns?

In cases where a physical quantity (consisting of a number and a unit) is used like an adjective to describe a property of an object, should it be written with or without a hyphen between the number ...
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0answers
37 views

husband-and-wife team or husband and wife team? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? Referring to a sentence from an online magazine: "Lonely Planet was started in 1975, when the British ...
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1answer
246 views

Hyphenation of “balaclava”

Balaclava is hyphenated as: bal-a-cla-va, according to the online edition of Merriam-Webster ba-la-clava, according to the 1989 printed fourth edition of Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, ...
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424 views

Proper use of hyphens for compound noun 'system model driven approach' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How to connect a word and a phrase with a dash? Multiple compound words Should I use “ related” or “-related” I'm aware of the general rules ...
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2answers
304 views

Use of apostrophe in adjective phrase containing a possessive

I work and write for a tech company that has created many first-in-the-world technologies. In press releases, I often write something like “[Company name] today announced another world’s first with ...
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2answers
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“built-in to the library”: hyphen or no hyphen

http://web.mit.edu/galib/www/FeatureList.html says, "You can use the types built-in to the library (bit-string, array, list, tree) or derive a chromosome based on your own objects." I've sometimes ...
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Correct use of hyphens in “we offer same day, on site service calls”

What would be the correct hyphenation (if any) for the following sentence? We offer same day, on site service calls. I was thinking of hyphenating "on-site", but I cannot think why "same day" ...
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4answers
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Is “inbuilt” a word? Is it alright to use it or should I use “built in”?

I searched and found this: “Built-in” or “In-built”, which says inbuilt is fine. But in a reddit comment, I was told that I should use built in instead of inbuilt. Which is correct? I am using the ...
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3answers
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Adverb with or without hyphen?

Remarkably low condensation temperature or Remarkably-low condensation temperature? The focus of remarkable is that it is such a low temperature. We are having an office disagreement and any help ...
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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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What is the difference between “in-between” and “in between”?

Which of the following two is correct: The man is sitting in between the two women; or The man is sitting in-between the two women. ? What is the general rule? Related but different ...
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560 views

To hyphen or not: cat person-turned-dog person vs. cat person turned dog person

Would it be: I'm a cat-person-turned-cat-and-dog-person. I'm a cat person-turned-cat and dog person. I'm a cat-person turned cat-and-dog person.
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4answers
333 views

Hyphenating “Evolution”

I've noticed that how the word "evolution" is hyphenated according to Wolfram|Alpha doesn't match the ones I find on other sites: The Free Dictionary, and Dictionary.com. As I understand, the latter ...
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4answers
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“watch more realistic 3D scenes” & hyphen

Problem: "viewers can watch more realistic 3D scenes and interact..." Do I need to hyphenate "more realistic" here? I think I do, as the compound modifier "more realistic" is modifying "3D ...
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5answers
269 views

When do I say “front-left” vs “left-front”, or how do you differentiate between sides?

Suppose I have a box in front of me. I have labeled the front, rear, left and right sides of the box (overhead view). Each side has two handles, labeled A through H. A B ...