I would like to express "an interpolation scheme which is not based on grids". But among the following options:

"non grid based", "non-grid based", "non grid-based" or "non-grid-based"

I am not sure which one I should use. I have tried google and google ngrams and found no answer. I neither found any straightforward guide or rule from some related posts (eg. 1,2,3) on this site. Which one is better for a native speaker?


  1. I am not sure about the rule when there are multiple adjectives with some hierarchy among them.
  2. I guess it should be "a non grid-based interpolation".(?)
  • 1
    And could you say why those questions you linked don't help? That would assist answerers to know exactly what the difficulty is which those questions don't explicitly address.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 8, 2016 at 14:51
  • 1
    @choster, thanks! but it seems that the link points to some other post.
    – gamebm
    Sep 8, 2016 at 15:42
  • @gamebm Sorry, I made a copy/paste error. The correct link is Non in front of hyphenated adjective
    – choster
    Sep 8, 2016 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


You must have a hyphen between "non" and "grid" because "non" is not a word on its own, just a prefix. You should also have a hyphen between "grid" and "based" to indicate that they are not to be interpreted as separate adjectives. Therefore "non-grid-based" is the correct choice.

Non in front of hyphenated adjective addresses this well.

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