3-way or 3 way. Which is correct usage?

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    Define "correct". I suspect most grammarians would say all bets are off as regards correct hyphenation if you're going to mix digits and letters in a single syntactic element like this. But for the actual word form, this NGram clearly shows that we nearly always hyphenate a three-way split, for example. And that's hardly AmE-specific. Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 14:42
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    a 3-way or three-way valve. And AmE is irrelevant here.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


Question: 3-way or three-way?

It depends on context:

a 3-way control valve or a 3-way switch. In technical contexts, 3-way is very much the usage.

In other, non-technical contexts, one usually writes: a three-way approach or a three-way conversation, etc.



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