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..

1 Answer 1


Skip the hyphens. A quick search of the internet shows the hyphenated version is quite rare and a review of the "hyphen rules" don't support the mark's use in this case.

  • Sounds good. In my opinion it looks very odd without the hyphens (especially in some situations like "I will ask the powers that be to <verb>" because of the "be to <verb>." Perhaps that is a hyphen rule exception.
    – AlexMA
    Jan 13, 2014 at 16:58

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