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all time or all-time, not sure which one it is. Are they different in different scenarios?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, anongoodnurse, choster, Mari-Lou A, Mitch Feb 21 '14 at 14:31

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  • 2
    This is the best question of all time. This the the all-time best question. – GEdgar Feb 20 '14 at 15:29
  • @GEdgar I know this is the right answer, but can you explain it. I can never remember the specifics of the rule! I know it's all time as a noun, all-time as an adjective. But, a proper run through would be much appreciated. – David M Feb 20 '14 at 15:47
  • @GEdgar no, the "all-time best question" is "Is anal-compulsive spelled with a hyphen?" :-) – Carl Witthoft Feb 20 '14 at 16:15

The rule is: when an adjective modifies another adjective, put in the hyphen. When both adjectives modify the noun, no hyphen (and quite possibly put in a comma for clarity).

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