The Gregg Reference Manual uses this:

mid- to late 60s (with a single space after the hyphen, because "mid" is a prefix that requires a hyphen).

My question is, if you have a phrase like "low to mid-50s," do we write it as I have done (i.e., no hyphen after "low," because "low" is not a prefix)?

I say:

CORRECT: low to mid-50s INCORRECT: low-to-mid 50s

The only time we'd use two hyphens in "low-to-mid 50s" is when it's used as a compound modifier, correct? See below.

CORRECT: Temperatures are expected in the low-to-mid-50s range.

Correct with all examples (and reasoning)?

Thank you.


Correct on all counts, yes.

However, "low-to-mid 50s" is also acceptable. You're already using a prefix with a numeral, which has some informality to it, so the rules are going to be somewhat more relaxed. In addition, I think some writers might reasonably think of "low-to-mid" as a compound modifier itself (for "50s").

That said, I'd tend to favor "low to mid-50s" on your reasoning above.

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