When forming compound nouns featuring more than one 'initial' noun, I seem to remember that there is a way to use a hyphen with one or both of those initial nouns to avoid having to repeat the second noun in the compound, but I'm not sure exactly how this works. Could someone help me with this, please?

What I want to avoid (repeating 'trees'):

'Drawing up problem trees and solution trees...'

What I believe may be correct but am not sure about:

A. 'Drawing up problem- and solution trees...'

Or is it:

B. 'Drawing up problem- and solution- trees...'

1 Answer 1


Actually it is without a hyphen as tree is not a directly connected part of the noun (such as 'room' in 'bathroom/bedroom').

It is: 'Drawing up problem and solution trees...'
For bathroom/bedroom it is: 'Bath- and bedroom are ...'

  • Ah, okay. I thought it was conceivable to use a hyphen in compound noun constructions under certain circumstances, and now I understand when to do so. Thank you for your response! :)
    – Will
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 12:29
  • Hello, Cryck. // To quote @Sven Yargs: Your answer seems to be heavily weighted toward personal opinion as opposed to objective analysis—but this site especially prizes answers that have an identifiable basis in verifiable fact rather than just opinion. Please consider strengthening your answer by citing some independent authority that draws the same general conclusion that you do with regard to [these practices]. Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 14:09

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