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Which one is more correct?

The concert was a big success due to high demand.

The concert was a big success due to high-demand.

This article seems to suggest that you hyphenate "high" when it is placed next to an adjective, but "demand" is not an adjective.

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My understanding is hyphenation would be appropriate when using "high-demand" as a conjoined adjective (e.g. "they charged more for this high-demand item than they typically would charge"); otherwise, it wouldn't be hyphenated. In the sample you supplied ("due to high demand"), "high" is an adjective modifying "demand," not a conjoined adjective modifying something else (like "item," in my sample).

  • Good answer. And even when a hyphen is appropriate, it may be omited in less formal writing if the words and context readily convey your intended meaning. In the preceding sentence, for example, "less formal writing" would be correctly written as "less-formal writing," but anyone who recognizes that distinction would fully understand the phrase in the first place. – lauir Jan 7 '16 at 19:28
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For compounds of the form adjective+noun, the Chicago Manual of Style's guideline is:

Hyphenated before but not after a noun, e.g. "a middle-class neighborhood" vs "the neighborhood is middle class"

So:

The concert was a big success due to high demand.

Its high-demand acts made the concert a big success.

  • Agreeing, in "high-demand acts" the hyphen is not only correct but also prevents a reader from even momentarily understanding the phrase as "demand acts that are high." The ambiguity here is greater than in the "less formal writing" example in my other comment. – lauir Jan 7 '16 at 19:38

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