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I've got this phrase: On a crisp, hot-chocolate afternoon. I'm not sure if hot chocolate requires a hyphen. It would add clarity (a hot-chocolate afternoon, as opposed to a hot and chocolate afternoon) in this case, and I don't think it's grammatically unacceptable to use a hyphen, so I probably will use one, but I am curious about the general case. Is it required to use a hyphen when using a noun phrase as an adjective?

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  • You should not confuse spelling and punctuation with grammar.
    – tchrist
    Aug 10 at 0:43
  • Yes, it requires a hyphen. Note that "hot-chocolate" is a compound adjective, not a noun phrase.
    – BillJ
    Aug 10 at 7:04

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