Questions tagged [hyphenation]

A hyphen is a symbol used to join two words or two syllables of a single word together. It is not to be confused with dashes or the minus symbol, as these are all longer than the hyphen and serve different purposes in language.

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How would one correctly place punctuation marks in this sentence?

Moth-like, the people buzzed about: walking, driving, directing— each to their own light. I'm not sure whether each comma, colon, dash and hyphen are used correctly here. Please help! Also, this ...
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Hyphens for compound range in "He will be at the job for one to two years"?

Came across something written like "He will be at the job for two to three years." A colleague suggested it should be "two-to-three years." I disagreed. I see the rationale for a ...
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What is the correct grammar for "a days-long wait"

Surely there's a better way; something instantaneous that doesn't involve a days-long wait? Is the grammar above correct? Particularly, should 'days-long' be hyphenated, and should it contain a ...
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Is it makeup or make-up or make up?

If you take a makeup test, is it correct to call it a makeup, make up, or make-up test? I know that makeup is also what some people put on their faces to look different. I think that make-up is what ...
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How to hyphenate “small-gap short-period long devices”?

I would like to use a compound adjective for the word "devices", but I don't know how to place the hyphen. Does small-gap short-period long devices sound correct?
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Cosmetics: Make up, make-up, or makeup? [closed]

When referring to cosmetics, which is correct? Make up, make-up, or makeup? And does it matter in case of a noun, verb, adjective? The actor playing Frankenstein's monster wore 6 pounds of [makeup | ...
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How should "makeup" be written in BrEng?

By "makeup", I mean cosmetics, as in lipstick, foundation, eyeliner, etc. My assumption is that it should be written as "makeup", but others have suggested "make up" or "make-up". In case there are ...
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Is a lengthy combination of words with hyphens like “the worst not-technically-in-a-recession year in American history” a new fashion of writing?

I found a hyphenated word , “not-technically–in-a-recession” in the sentence of September 28 New York Times’ article titled “Why Obama Is Winning,” written by co-ed columnist, Ross Douthat. It reads: ...
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Compound Modifiers: When to hyphenate?

I'm writing about a new technology "Input Optimised Filtering" (not the actual name but a good example). I'm wondering whether this can/needs to be hyphenated (Input-Optimised Filtering), or ...
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Hyphenation: is it a "no-obligation quote" or a "no obligation quote"?

Should you give someone a "free, no-obligation quote" or a "free, no obligation quote"? I'm unable to find concrete examples on any authoritative source either way.
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Hyphenation: Should it be context dependence or context-dependence?

This question is about hyphens in nouns. Grammarly suggests context-dependence, whereas I'm used to writing context dependence. I used to write the adjective as context-dependent but the noun without ...
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Which spelling should I use: "grass roots" or "grassroots"?

Both Oxford Online and Merriam-Webster dictionaries show grass roots with a space between the two words in the compound noun. But this ngram shows substantially more hits for grassroots without a ...
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How to capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title [duplicate]

How should I capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title? e.g. "Make-up" or "Make-Up" (noun) "Strap-on" or "Strap-On" (noun) "Stripped-down" or "Stripped-Down" (adj.) "Up-to-...
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Correct usage of suspended hyphens [duplicate]

I have seen some people using them while others not. Should I still use a suspended hyphen in the following snippet? I have used upper- and lowercase in my script.
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Should it be "mid 80s" or "mid-80s"?

When discussing temperatures or decades, should it be hyphenated? I understood that two-word adjectives need to be hyphenated, but why does MS Word think this should be, too?
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Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb?

Which of these are acceptable? Is one preferable over the other? "Chemically-deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." "Chemically deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." Also, is the title to ...
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Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped?

Is it chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? And with what kind of former words to use "-" properly?
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Should I use " related" or "-related"

What is the correct use of the term "related?" For example, should I use it like computer related, or is it more proper to use computer-related (where the word "computer" is just part of my example?)...
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Hyphenation of -oriented when preceded by two words [duplicate]

Which of these two is correct: (a) I have experience in data science-oriented programming languages. or (b) I have experience in data-science-oriented programming languages.
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Confusion over the general rules governing the use of the hyphen in English [duplicate]

I often get confused by the rules for using hyphens. According to this entry from the Oxford Dictionaries web site, I must always use a hyphen in these cases: Hyphens are used in many compound ...
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Nonstop, non-stop, or non stop? [closed]

Which is the proper spelling of "nonstop?" nonstop or non stop or non-stop
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Less-experienced vs less experienced employee

As an Android developer with 3 years of experience, I also help less experienced team members. Do I need to put a hyphen between "less" and "experienced"?
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Hyphenating a compound noun in conjunction with '-related'

This is a bit of a conundrum, if you ask me. The compound noun in my title, 'Fluid Flow' does not require hyphenation. On the other hand, this is then followed by '-Related'. If I were to put: "Fluid ...
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Should "request-after-request" be hyphenated?

"All day I get request-after-request for help on passing the Quality Assessment." The sentence above was originally written as, "All day I get request after request for help on passing the Quality ...
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"Out-of-this-world experiences" vs. "out of this world experiences"

I was wondering if the hyphenated version should be used? The context is: Introducing the World Cup box from McDonald's: the meal filled with out of this world experiences.
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Sugarcane or Sugar cane? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between "sugar cane" and sugarcane? Is sugarcane wrong? What is the gramatical rule for joining two names like that? I have found 13.500 entries on google for sugarcane, but 16....
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Which is right: "drop-down" or "drop down"? [closed]

What is the proper way to write this term when writing product documentation? Hyphenated or not? drop down list or drop-down list?
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'The snap election results' or 'The snap-election results'? [closed]

Which of the two is grammatically correct? The snap election results are in. The snap-election results are in. The sentence should refer to the results of an election that was announced suddenly and ...
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Noun phrase converted to verb, is a hyphen needed?

When "air kiss" is treated as a verb, as in "they air kissed", should it be hyphenated to "air-kissed"?
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Hyphenate multiple modifiers to a single noun, or not?

Should I hyphenate the phrase "pedestrian detection algorithm" in the example sentence below? The algorithm is designed to detect pedestrians. However, I am worried that it could be misread as a ...
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4answers
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Is "inbuilt" a word? Is it alright to use it or should I use "built in"?

I searched and found this: “Built-in” or “In-built”, which says inbuilt is fine. But in a reddit comment, I was told that I should use built in instead of inbuilt. Which is correct? I am using the ...
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Hyphenation of non-combat-related injury

As I understand it, we are to hyphenate phrases which consist of several adjectives strung together to form a single thought. I would, therefore, assume "non-combat-related injury" is the proper ...
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Should I used a hyphen for "often-used" and "well-documented"?

Not sure what this is called, but I have seen the following phrases with and without hyphens: The doctor performed a well-documented procedure. Or: He took an often-used road to the farm. ...
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Which form would be correct: cyber security, cyber-security or cybersecurity?

I want to stop changing my mind, I've used all three of the forms cyber security, cyber-security or cybersecurity at different times. There have been previous discussions on this (e.g. here and here) ...
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"High-schooler" vs. "high schooler"

My initial attempt to settle the question with a google search didn't help as much as I'd hoped: A search for 'high schooler' revealed approximately 4% of results employing the hyphenated form. A ...
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1answer
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Should "in-cabin" be hyphenated in "the dogs must ride in-cabin on the airplane"? [duplicate]

Would the term in-cabin be hyphenated or not? As in, the dogs must ride in-cabin on the airplane.
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hyphen in noun-gerund compounds

I am lost with the rule that noun-gerund compounds do not get a hyphen if used as nouns. Example: He liked novel reading. Is it correct not to use a hyphen between novel and reading here? I ...
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Can there be a hyphen in "nonlinear"?

As the title says, I'm wondering if "non-linear" is an acceptable spelling of the word "nonlinear." A bit of research on this site turns up Is the use of a hyphen between "non" and an ...
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nonexistent, non-existent or non existent? [duplicate]

I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct? I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.
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"Real time", "real-time" or "realtime"

Which of real time, real-time and realtime is correct when you are talking about seeing something as it happens?
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What is the difference between "twenty-four-hour shift" and twenty-four hour shift"? [closed]

Just read somewhere about this puzzling puzzle: What is the difference between: I'm doing a twenty four-hour shift tonight. I'm doing a twenty-four hour shift tonight. I'm doing a twenty-four-hour ...
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“5-min” video vs “5 min” video vs “5min” video

Example: Paul and Jake discuss the Frame Timing API in this 5-min video: … Which character (if any) should be put between the number and the word “min”?
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Using hyphenated words in technical writing?

I always get confused when using hyphenated words in my research papers. Is there any specific rule for using hyphenated words? For example, which one of the following is the correct usage of co ...
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1answer
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"30 day span", "30-day span", or "30 days span"

As in, "for each 30-day span, a late fee will be charged." I think the hyphenated version looks best, but is there some sort of authoritative word on that in a style guide?
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"Stand up comedy", "standup comedy", or "stand-up comedy"?

I've seen all three versions for describing a person on stage performing comedy: "stand up", "standup", and "stand-up". My guess is that the term started as two words, but as the performance form ...
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30k views

"Well-being" or "wellbeing"? [closed]

I was writing a document in Microsoft Word and I used the word "well-being". Word told me to correct it to "wellbeing". When I do, Word tells me to correct it back to "well-being". Which is correct? I ...
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Which is correct, "on-line" or "online"?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line or ...
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1answer
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Hyphenation or blending

Are there any rules when to write a set of two (or more) words or abbreviations forming a name of some entity as separate, when to hyphenate, and when to stick them together? These are my findings ...
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Is a badly-written book a book [which has been] badly written?

This question is prompted by the earlier question Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb? Please don't close this as a dup unless there's a later answer ...
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Do I keep myself "up-to-date" or "up to date" on something? [duplicate]

The question is quite straightforward: Which of the following is preferable? "I keep myself up-to-date on the latest technology." "I keep myself up to date on the latest technology.&...

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