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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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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190 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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“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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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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45 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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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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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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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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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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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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45 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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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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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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24 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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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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49 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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62 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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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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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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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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Why does “one half” have no hyphen, but “two-thirds” does?

I often see the fraction 2/3 written with a hyphen, but I never see 1/2 written with one. Is it correct to have the hyphen in "two-thirds", and if so why don't we write "one-half"?
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28 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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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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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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“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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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
55 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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Is a lengthy combination of words with hyphens like “the worst not-technically-in-a-recession year in American history” a new fashion of writing?

I found a hyphenated word , “not-technically–in-a-recession” in the sentence of September 28 New York Times’ article titled “Why Obama Is Winning,” written by co-ed columnist, Ross Douthat. It reads: ...
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79 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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34 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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Can you outfish, out-fish, or out fish someone?

I don't even know what to Google in order to find the answer to this question. I'm trying to determine the proper grammar for outdoing someone in a particular area. For instance, in the previous ...
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2answers
112 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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How do you spell wifi / Wi-Fi / WiFi? [closed]

This is probably related to whether one should capitalize Internet or not. I am looking for the correct spelling of wifi when referring to a wireless connection to the Internet. I want to tell the ...
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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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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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2answers
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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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77 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
119 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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5answers
23k views

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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5answers
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Is it normal to separate hyphenated words on different lines? [duplicate]

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
106 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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37 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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171k views

When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?

I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen instead of an em-dash?
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63 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
6k views

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. ...
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adding a prefix “re” to a word, with or without a hyphen?

In science we often invent words, but that doesn't mean we know how to spell them. Most of the time words are invented by adding prefixes. In that case should there be a hyphen or not? Specifically, I ...
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335 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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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...