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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The Rules Guiding the Presence or Absence of a Hyphen in a Compound

We know that in recent years many dictionaries deleted the hyphen in hundreds of words that initially had it. I would like to know how do and how did grammarians decide if a word should contain a ...
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hyphen usage, adjective, left-and-right jaw-rubbing

Is the following sentence correct? After thinking for a while , he resumed his left-and-right jaw-rubbing motion. Or should it be written After thinking for a while, he resumed his ...
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1answer
35 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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Should one hyphenate 'shoulder width' in this context?

I believe that in this context: Place your feet shoulder-width apart. it makes sense to hyphenate to avoid confusion. I see that apart is listed as an adverb in the dictionary and width as a ...
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4answers
56 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 ...
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2answers
306 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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3answers
165 views

13 Month Old or 13-Month-Old? [duplicate]

I have just installed Grammarly and it showed up something which i am not sure of. It corrected '13 month old' to '13-month-old'. The context is I ask because my 13-month-old God daughter ...
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2answers
80 views

Slashes for hyphens in compound modifiers

Take the phrase "a joint FBI-SFPD task force" for example. According to my boss, a slash can stand in for the hyphen. I tend to disagree. Is this grammatically correct? Stylistically acceptable?
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1answer
106 views

“It's 20 meters thick” versus “It's a 20-meter-thick layer.”

I know that both of these expressions are correct, but I'd like to be able to explain exactly why the first one is correct. Of course compound adjectives are hyphenated (second expression), but in the ...
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1answer
108 views

How should “condolences” be hyphenated?

My word processor soft-hyphenated condolences as condolenc-es. Does this look natural to the eyes of native speakers? I, a non-native speaker, think it should be condolen-ces.
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5answers
77 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
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
25 views

Hyphenation of a compound modifier formed of an adjective and a noun

Earlier questions on the hyphenation of compound modifiers have been well answered, so now I would sharpen the question. We seem to agree that this has good hyphenation: The question is well ...
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2answers
76 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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1answer
30 views

Well-posed vs. well posed [duplicate]

I have a question that comes up when writing mathematical problems. Which of the following is correct: The problem is well-posed or The problem is well posed. I am sure the second is ...
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4answers
40k views

How do you spell wifi / Wi-Fi / WiFi?

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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2answers
50 views

Should you hyphenate “high demand”?

Which one is more correct? The concert was a big success due to high demand. The concert was a big success due to high-demand. This article seems to suggest that you hyphenate "high" when ...
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0answers
80 views

What is the correct way to write the word “back-end”? [duplicate]

Back-end and front-end are common technical terms nowadays. Traditionally, they are written with a hyphen "back-end". Is there a rule in the English language that dictates this to be a correct way to ...
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1answer
37 views

Properly Using Hyphenated Clauses

I'm writing a paper about quantum computing and I'm trying to cite a source; however, I feel that the sentence in which I do this is clunky and forced. According to The Washington Post’s Vivek ...
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2answers
87 views

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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4answers
35k views

Do I keep myself “up-to-date” or “up to date” on something?

Question is quite straightforward. I want to say that "I keep myself up-to-date on the latest technology". Or is it better "I keep myself up to date with the latest technology"?
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2answers
2k views

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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5answers
11k views

How do I hyphenate an open-form compound word with another that should be hyphenated?

I'm confused about how to combine an open-form compound word with a word that would normally be hyphenated. There's excellent guidance for making the open vs. closed vs. hyphenated decision, but I ...
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2answers
133 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

“4 year long” or “4 yearlong”? [closed]

I am wanting to convey this sentence: This year marks the end of the 4 year long 'Environmental Protection Victoria' project. I have looked online to no avail, can anyone tell me if '4 year ...
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1answer
44 views

Toll Free or Toll-Free on business cards and letterheads [closed]

Which is correct for business card and letterhead: Toll Free: (800) 000-0000 Toll-Free: (800) 000-000 Toll free: (800) 000-0000 Toll-free: (800) 000-0000
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1answer
51 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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3answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
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1answer
36 views

Listing multiple compound words

How do I list multiple things that are compound words? In my own language I'm used to writing these lists like this: "I kicked foot-, basket-, and volleyball" The sentence is supposed to mean that ...
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7answers
20k views

When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word?

Some words are written without hyphens (nonaggression, nonbeliever), and some words are written with a hyphen (well-intentioned). Is there a schema in the use of a hyphen?
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3answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
312 views

Why do we hyphenate between numbers? Example: twenty-six

I have found many places that list the various rules on using hyphens in math, but nothing to explain why we have the rule. I have some students who are asking and I would like to be able to give ...
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4answers
3k views

Compound Adjectives and -ed

A colleague asked me this question, and I couldn't come up with an answer that satisfied him, so I'm wondering if anyone can help: Why does a man with a short temper become a short-tempered man? In ...
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1answer
56 views

non-community wiki answers or non-community-wiki answers?

I'm curious about the correct punctuation for this phrase which appears in some stack exchange badges... "non-community wiki answers" I initially thought it was referring to wiki answers that were ...
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1answer
29 views

Hyphens to join compound modifiers in which the last word is the present or past participle of a verb

I am unclear of the need for hyphens here: It was French in design, with elaborate English rococo inspired wainscoting. Should it be English-rococo-inspired wainscoting or is it fine as is? It ...
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1answer
51 views

How do you write ten-person apartments? Ten-persons-apartment or? [duplicate]

How do you write ten-person apartments? Ten-persons-apartment or ? Thank you for your answer.
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1answer
49 views

Hyphenation question

I've got a English tutor and we had a session on English writing. But he gave me a correction on my writing which is still confusing to me. The practice lasted about three weeks, after which ...
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2answers
253 views

Timestep, time step, time-step: Which variant to use?

I am writing a piece on integration of differential equations. One of the words that I have to use frequently is "timestep" (however it is written), i.e. a step forward in the "simulated" time. There ...
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1answer
61 views

Swiss made or Swiss-made? Swiss quality or Swiss-quality [duplicate]

As indicated above, do we need to hyphenate said words? The same questions apply to other "country-related terms" like Singapore quality, German precision, etc. Thanks in advance
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1answer
28 views

“currently running survey” or “currently-running survey”?

I still struggle to understand exactly when to use hyphens when adverbs are involved. Which of the following is correct? ABC is an acronym representing the actual name of the survey. "I use results ...
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1answer
39 views

Using Hyphens correctly

Would it be acceptable to write the following using the hyphens below: I am trying to get back to my pre-secret-mistress bliss. Or should it be: I am trying to get back to my pre-secret mistress ...
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2answers
195 views

Hyphenation of Japanese names

I'm typesetting an English book that contains the Japanese name Akiyama. Is it allowed to hyphenate romaji transcription of names (I truly hope so!)? If so, how do you do it? I would think it would be ...
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2answers
661 views

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

Should it be val-ue or va-lue? Is there a rule for this kind of thing?
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2answers
78 views

Week-long and Hard-working? [duplicate]

Do the words hard-working and week-long have hyphens?
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1answer
61 views

When to use a hyphen? [duplicate]

As a non-native speaker, i wonder whether there are any guidelines concerning the usage of hyphens. Would you write Task-planning for robots ... or rather Task planning for robots ...
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3answers
141 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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0answers
28 views

Dash or parentheses in bulleted list

I have the a bulleted list with one of the bullets having additional things listed within it: .....including: - Bulk purchase and distribution of essential coffee inputs to members - fertilizer, ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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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 ...