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Here's some examples. Please tell me which ones are right, and which ones are wrong, and why.

  1. "A 350-meter asteroid impacted the Moon."

  2. "A 350-meters asteroid impacted the Moon."

  3. "A 350 meter asteroid impacted the Moon."

  4. "A 350 meters asteroid impacted the Moon."

There's also extended versions.

  1. "A 350-meter wide asteroid impacted the Moon."

  2. "A 350-meter-wide asteroid impacted the Moon."

Etcetera. Which ones are right/wrong, and why?

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    Perhaps surprisingly, an answer on an apparently-unrelated question actually answers this. We are going to need that canonical answer on a more obviously-related question.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 19, 2015 at 7:12
  • @AndrewLeach you don't need either of those hyphens.
    – phoog
    Jun 19, 2015 at 7:39
  • Many people still disagree with "impact" as a verb.
    – phoog
    Jun 19, 2015 at 7:41

1 Answer 1

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"A 350-meter asteroid impacted the Moon." is the right form.

"A 350-meter-wide asteroid impacted the Moon." is the right extended form.

Here you are combining two or more words to form a compound adjective in front of a noun and in this case, you need put a hyphen between these words.

We can also say ->

"A 350 meters wide asteroid impacted the Moon."

Here the number is not used as compound adjective preceding a noun and hence there is no need to hyphenate.

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  • "A 350 meters wide asteroid" is incorrect.
    – phoog
    Jun 19, 2015 at 7:41

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