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How to connect a word and a phrase with a dash?

Hello, I'm a non-native English speaker and I'm writing a scientific paper about biometric identification based on heart sounds.

In this context, is the following phrase correct?

Comparison of recent articles on heart sounds-based biometrics.

I am using it as a caption for a table.


1 Answer 1


The correct form would require another hyphen:

Comparison of recent articles on heart-sound(s)-based biometrics

However, such long compound adjectives are a bit ugly. Instead you could write this:

Comparison of recent articles about biometrics based on heart sounds.

Or perhaps this:

Comparison of recent articles on heart-sound biometrics

It seems clear that these biometrics are based on whatever word you use to specify them, which is why I suspect the word "based" isn't really necessary; or is it?

  • No, it isn't necessary at all. Many thanks for the suggestions! Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 11:51
  • Could you kindly add a reference, so that I can cite this, Cerberus? Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 14:14
  • @EdwinAshworth: See Fowler, as quoted in an answer to the question of which the above is a duplicate. Or do you want it in my answer? Then feel free to add it from there. Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 16:48

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