Are hyphens absolutely necessary in these dollar amounts and ranges? Do you feel as though they are clear enough and readable without hyphens. I cannot locate an answer in The AP Stylebook or The Gregg Reference Manual or Chicago.

The closest answer I could find was in the AP Q&A, which shows "a 15 to 20 percent a year increase in revenues." The AP listed that example without any hyphens in response to a query, so I think that all examples below could possibly follow suit without any hyphen insertions. Do you concur? Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to, I cannot recast. Thanks for any opinions.

√ Fashion is a $3 billion to $6 billion a year industry.

√ There will be a $1 to $5 per day surcharge.

√ He signed a $22 million a year contract.

√ A $10 a month fee was nominal.

√ a $55 a barrel price

√ a $55 per barrel price

I don't think a reader would stumble on these without hyphens. Do you agree to all examples without hyphens?

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    I don't think the hyphens are necessary here. To improve readability, I would stick with "per year" instead of "a year" (or whatever time period), though. Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


As you say, these are readable. Hyphens do help with parsing the sentence correctly though, because you are forming a compound noun using words that are not all nouns themselves. This makes these sentences into mild instances of garden-path sentences.

  • Thanks, Jessica. If you don't mind, how would you personally punctuate each of them? Greatly appreciated. :>) Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 13:15

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