I don't understand whether I need to use hyphenation in "high-voltage". In scientific literature I see it being used interchangeably. Could anyone help me with this?

Here are some examples (I didn't use hyphens since I don't know if they should be there):

  1. "High voltage equipment was used in the experiment".
  2. "High voltage pulse is generated by neon-sign transformer."
  3. "High voltage is necessary to cause dielectric breakdown."

closed as off-topic by Hot Licks, Edwin Ashworth, Drew, Davo, David Sep 27 '17 at 12:34

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Generally speaking, a hyphen is included when you use a compound term as an adjective. So yes for #1 and no for #3. #2 isn't grammatical but would need a hyphen if you said "A high-voltage..."

This rule is broken a lot, though, so I don't think most people would care if you left out all hyphens.

  • Thank you very much for explaining hyphenation and correcting #2. – space bobcat Sep 26 '17 at 20:51
  • Of course you could also fix #2 by changing it to “High-voltage pulses are generated ...”. – Scott Sep 26 '17 at 21:00
  • Please don't give answers to obviously off-topic questions. This lacks any research, and has essentially been answered before on ELU on more than one occasion. Repeats clutter the site. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 26 '17 at 21:48

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