0

I have a feeling this question has already been asked, but couldn't find it by searching. I found people asking about hyphenation of multiple compound adjectives with a common second word, but I'm wondering about hyphenation of multiple compound adjectives with a common first word.

What is the correct way to hyphenate a phrase like this, assuming that "sometimes" is modifying both "unreliable" and "inadequate?":

sometimes unreliable and inadequate Internet service

Note that if style plays a role in your answer, I prefer American English and specifically Chicago style.

1

You could certainly try the reverse of the use of same first-word compound adjectives (e.g., first- and second-generation immigrants) by doing this: sometimes-unreliable and -inadequate service. But that looks a bit odd and I would re-word if necessary.

  • If there was only one compound in each case you'd hyphenate first-generation but not sometimes unreliable. This must be the main reason for the difference, surely? – BoldBen Oct 27 '16 at 8:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.