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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Usage of hyphen in “oft-cited”

The oft-cited first sentence of this work Why would you not just use two words, oft cited?
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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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Hyphenating measurements [duplicate]

A construction that I have been seeing a lot lately that seems surprising to me is "The 8-foot-long bridge ...," with two hyphens. It seems surprising to me (or maybe I'm just noticing it) that ...
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1k views

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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351 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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64 views

“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 scenes"....
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834 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 -----------------...
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273 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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1answer
312 views

“Stockmarkets” vs. “stock markets”

I am having trouble with the difference between stockmarkets and stock markets — or should it be stock-markets? In some articles it is introduced as stockmarkets, but that term is not found in ...
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381 views

Was “nowadays” ever spelled with hyphens?

etymonline doesn't note that nowadays ever had a spelling with hyphen but I found a few random sites claiming that it once was hyphenated. Was it ever spelled as "now-a-days"?
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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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4k views

“easy to use” versus “easy-to-use”

My belief is that the following two phrases are correct: A: "The app is easy to use." B: "It is an easy-to-use app." And that the following is not technically correct: C: "It is an easy to use app....
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101 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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68 views

Do we need hyphen in this: graded-reading books?

Is it necessary to have a hyphen in the following phrase? graded-reading books Please my friends you are only hope for me at a last chance salon because my teacher he is not knowing answer.
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1answer
451 views

Hyphenate “powers that be” when used as object?

Here's part of my sentence: "I'm going to ask the powers that be whether[...]" Should it be "I'm going to ask the powers-that-be whether[...]"? Bonus points for why, of course..
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179 views

How to hyphenate “Churchill”?

How should "Churchill" be hyphenated when it breaks across two lines? Chu-rchill, Chur-chill, Churc-hill, or Church-ill?
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1answer
165 views

Is it good style to factor out the common root word of two (or more) prefixed compound words?

I see sometimes in conjunciton or disjunction, the common root of two or more compound words are factored out, for example, "super- and sub-script" (maybe bad example, but it suffices to describe the ...
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5answers
9k views

Correctness and spelling of “misscheduled”

I'm sure I've heard the word misscheduled used multiple times in my life. But just now, my spell checker threw a fit. Since I wasn't sure if it should be misscheduled, mis-scheduled, or mischeduled ...
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2k views

Using hyphenated words in technical writing?

I always get confused when using hyphenated words in my research papers. Is there any specific rule for using hyphenated words? For example, which one of the following is the correct usage of co ...
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220 views

Shorebased, Shore-based or Shore Based?

What is the best or correct way to spell this adjective (e.g. shorebased training)?
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214 views

How to modify “one-third” by an adverb?

Would it be correct to merge with hyphens one-third-contiguously in the following phrase? I propose to elect by 3 quotas, each per one-thirds-contiguously of time-zones.
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426 views

Nonstop, non-stop, or non stop? [closed]

Which is the proper spelling of "nonstop?" nonstop or non stop or non-stop
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1answer
144 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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459 views

Nonsmoking or Non-smoking

Would one write that someone is “a nonsmoking so-and-so” or “a non-smoking so-and-so”? I'm not sure if the hyphen is necessary or superfluous.
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An antonym for 'sought-after'

Whenever describing something that is seldom looked for or desired I often verbalise it with "ill sought after" without hesitating. (ignore that ill is its own word, the trouble I'm having writing it ...
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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 16....
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What word to choose as the opposite of “self-aware”?

What word would describe the quality of not being self-aware? unselfaware unself-aware un-selfaware un-self-aware non-self-aware I am aware that it is allowed to have multiple hyphens in a word. ...
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233 views

Hyphenation of SI prefixes

I constantly see variations in the hyphenization of words containing SI prefixes. Nano-, micro-, milli-, etc. But when is it proper to ditch the hyphen, and when should it be included? For example, ...
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376 views

Any rule about superheroes and hyphens in their names? [closed]

You really know this fact that Spider-man is hyphenated. But why? Any grammatical rule? Is he unique hero written with a hyphen, unlike Batman, Superman etc.?
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91 views

What's the best way to write “Ugly Dog brand Dog Food”? [closed]

What's the best way to write this? I'm thinking "Ugly Dog-brand Dog Food" as the most likely candidate... what is grammatically-correct?
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556 views

hyphenation of adjective phrases [duplicate]

Should adjectival phrases that are hyphenated when they modify a noun, e.g. a case-sensitive password, be hyphenated when they are predicate adjectives, e.g. The password is case-sensitive?
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1answer
57 views

Compound adjective that contains an acronym + parentheses?

Hey fellow grammar nerds! I need opinions. When using a compound adjective that contains an acronym, where do you place the hyphen and parentheses? I am describing a gene which contains cAMP response ...
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61 views

Rules on hyphenating phrases

I see a ton of questions on hyphenated words, specifically, but nothing on the more general question how/when they're supposed to be used vs omitted. Another great answer gives some general rules on ...
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1answer
103 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 definition:...
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123 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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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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1answer
483 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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“Well-being” or “wellbeing”? [closed]

I was writing a document in Microsoft Word and I used the word "well-being". Word told me to correct it to "wellbeing". When I do, Word tells me to correct it back to "well-being". Which is correct? I ...
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128 views

In a regular sentence, I could add more information by using dashes - like this - or commas ,like this, but what if I want to do that in a list?

I'm writing a story where only certain people know something about my MC. I list the people like this: Only my coaches, my best friend - Alicia, who’s also my cousin -, and her parents. I add ...
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925 views

How should one punctuate “upper right most”?

For upper right most, I’ve seen it written upper-right most, upper-right-most, and with no hyphens at all. What makes the most sense to me is upper rightmost, but it’s hard to tell that upper right ...
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slip rate dependent friction - hyphen needed?

Should I put a hyphen for friction that depends on slip rate? Possibilities: slip rate-dependent friction or slip-rate dependent friction or slip rate dependent friction The last ...
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“A 1000-sqft room” vs. “a 1000 sq. ft. room”

Which of the following is correct? This is a 1000-sqft room This is a 1000 sq. ft. room Or perhaps neither is right and there's a better alternative?
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60 views

Multiple quantities of an object that has a descriptor and units of measure

My question is probably best illustrated with an example: Four 2.25 hp electric motors were used to propel the vehicle. Is that correct? I feel like it can't be, but my friend is saying ...
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716 views

Usage of hyphen when naming colors

When is it appropriate to use a hyphen when naming colors? For instance Blue-green has a dash but Teal blue does not. Is there some general English rule that applies?
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171 views

Land cover, land-cover, or landcover?

In literature, I often see landcover, land cover, and even land-cover. Land cover seems slightly more prevalent than the others. Which is correct? Land cover is the material covering the Earth's ...
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707 views

Is a hyphen required or is the proper use of it subjective?

My question is as stated in the title. In a very famous article, I noticed the author used the word - "nonexperiment". I looked up the word and it is not actually a word, so I believe it should be ...
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371 views

use of hyphen to apply an adjective to non-hyphenated compound word

Do I write "non-power of two" or "non-power-of-two", where I assume "power of two" is a non-hyphenated compound word?
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How to punctuate a range of hyphenated numbers? [duplicate]

What is the best way to punctuate a range of hyphenated numbers, e.g., sections 12-3 through 12-7? EDIT: Just to reply to those who marked this as a duplicate, I really fail to see how the post that ...
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726 views

Should you use en dashes in acronyms?

For terms like liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry that typically use an en dash rather than a hyphen, would an en dash still be used in the acronym, LC–MS? Or would we only need a hyphen there, ...
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2k views

Hyphenation in compound adjectives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: To hyphenate or not? When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? In the sentence "Portland is known to be ...