In Finnish, 'linja-auto' is a bus, and 'rekka-auto' is a truck. If I were to write that I traveled with both I would write

Matkustin linja- ja rekka-autolla.

The sentence is equal to

Matkustin linja-autolla ja rekka-autolla

so the hyphen (-) can be used to avoid repeating the word 'auto' (meaning a car).

Are there similar constructs in English?

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure if the construct has a name in English, but I would submit some examples that work similarly.

  • In talking about red blood cells and white blood cells, I would simply say, "red and white blood cells".
  • To put forward an example using hyphens, describing a living situation as either on-campus or off-campus (relative to a university, for example) could be summarized as, "on and/or off-campus".

As a note to the last example above, I opted to not include the hyphen when writing out "on" (e.g. "on- and/or off-campus"). Although it may just be a personal preference, I can't think of a particular example that would maintain the hyphen after the split.

  • 3
    Sulphur- and nitrous-dioxide. The hyphen makes a difference here.
    – Hugh
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:25
  • The decision to include or leave out the hyphen is often a matter of house style. I've seen universities that do refer to "on- and off-campus housing."
    – Nicole
    Jun 26, 2015 at 18:22

Yes, this is normal in English too. Some examples from a quick search:


In addition to normally-hyphenated phrases, this technique can also be used with words that are normally unhyphenated compounds. For example, one might write about the "inner- and outermost" parts of something.

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