Is the hyphen required after '$5 million' (followed by a single space) in this suspended compound?

He owned a $5 million- to $10 million-a-year business.

Is that impeccably punctuated?

or should it be:

... a $5 million to $10 million a year business (this looks cleaner)

Thank you.

  • Where are you going to use this? I'd reckon that in 95+% of situations, people would be on the next sentence but ten by now, rather than trying to understand the meaning of this sentence or deciding how many style marks to award. And I'd bet most of the remaining 5% would be flinging style guides at one another. Jan 15, 2015 at 10:46
  • 1
    He owned a business that had 5-10 million dollars a year profits. OR, He owned a business which yielded $5 million to $10 million a year.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 15, 2015 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


I see no reason to repeat "million".

a $5-to-$10-million-a-year business

or, with fewer hyphens: a $5-to-$10 million a year business

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