0

This question already has an answer here:

A friend has asked about this and so far most seem to believe the best answer is:

At the end of an eight- to ten-week project period, the team reports their findings and recommendations to their client.

Would this be the correct way to hyphenate the sentence? Do you even need hyphens or can it be an open-compound?

When should compound words be written as one word, with hyphens, or with spaces?

Indicates that this could be an open compound since it only mentions past-participles or prefixes.

marked as duplicate by tylerharms, tchrist, Chenmunka, ermanen, Robusto Oct 27 '14 at 20:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Glancing through a couple of pages of an estimated 3220 written instances of "an eight to ten week" in Google Books (which indexes hyphens as "white space"), it seems to me about 2/3rds are rendered as per your "best answer". Almost all the rest have no hyphens at all, which I personally find less "awkward-looking" (which designation was mainly to show I've nothing against hyphens as such). Other variations are virtually non-existent, so you can probably dismiss them. – FumbleFingers Sep 24 '14 at 18:37
  • @FumbleFingers want to make this an answer instead of a comment? – Ryan Sep 24 '14 at 18:39
  • The problem is I'm not big on prescriptive grammar "rules", particularly when it comes to punctuation. Added to which I don't have the corpus-searching skills to easily establish any change in usage over time. If I could produce a chart showing that the hyphenless version is gaining ground, I'd be happy to answer even if other people start citing style guides saying my preference is "wrong". But without that I'm really just expressing an opinion (on a matter which I suspect many other users here know more about than me! :) – FumbleFingers Sep 24 '14 at 18:48
0

The given hyphenation suggests to me that the project duration is pre-determined; it will be set to either 8, 9, or 10 weeks long based on some criterion. If this is indeed the case, then you may stick with your current solution and stop reading here. :-) (This is because the "dangling hyphen" style is for listing multiple elements with a common suffix, as explained in an answer here for "multiple hyphenated terms".)

I expect, however, that the intended meaning is that the project duration is somewhat variable, and may end up anywhere in the given range; in which case, the phrase "eight to ten" as a whole is the modifier to "week", and should either be hyphenated more liberally: an eight-to-ten-week project period, or not at all: an eight to ten week project period.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.