I am having trouble understanding the following:

"the achievable rate of the optimal AF scheme performs close to the cut-set like bound obtained in this paper"

I think that the word "like" (above) is intended to be used as a suffix to express the fact that the bound is "cut-set"-like.

My question is what to do in such a case to show the connection between the words. Is it (a) "cut set-like" (b) "cut-set-like" (c) "cut set(en dash)like" (d) something else

Please help me.

  • Is it possible to choose an example which we would all understand?
    – WS2
    May 23, 2014 at 8:06
  • @WS2 One can understand the example sentence, though the subject may be unfamiliar.
    – Kris
    May 23, 2014 at 8:09
  • I am sure this has been dealt with already on this site. Have you checked previous posts?
    – Kris
    May 23, 2014 at 8:09
  • Though cut-set-like, cut set-like, cut-set like, cut set like are all acceptable, cut-set like is the best option in the given context. The like may not necessarily be hyphenated, but in the given context, cut and set need to be one hyphenated compound.
    – Kris
    May 23, 2014 at 8:12
  • If "cut-set" is to remain hyphenated, then one could interpret the noun to be "like bound", which I don't think is the intended meaning here. In addition, I don't (em dash) unfortunately for me (em dash) get easy examples in my line of work, which is why I am grateful that this site exists! May 23, 2014 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking one should use a hyphenation when two or more words form a single adjective. One simple example might be "a four-lane highway." The highway is not a four and a lane but a four-lane. The hyphen ensures that no confusion ensues. Another example might be a 24-year-old girl. The girl is not 24, year, and old but rather a 24-year-old.

In your example of "cut-set like bound" the phrase would indicate that the bound is both like and cut-set. Although I do not understand exactly what the phrase means, I consider it unlikely that the bound is like. Accordingly, I recommend "the cut-set-like bound" as the optimum phrase.

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