Hyphenating a Compound Noun

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A compound noun can be one word, hyphenated, or multiple words. You can know the correct form only by looking it up and checking the part of speech. …bookkeeper, roommate …sister-in-law, aide-de-camp …real estate, high school Whatever the form, it must be maintained in all uses of the word. …a bookkeeper problem …an in-law problem …a real estate problem It …

Prefixes and Suffixes

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The rule is that prefixes and suffixes are added on and made a solid word. However, when the word that has a prefix or suffix is more than one word, the prefix or suffix is attached with a hyphen. …time frame-wise……pre-high school……social security-like… Happy punctuating! Margie

Adverbial Objective

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When a noun answers an adverb question, it is called an adverbial objective. …left Friday for the lake… (“Friday” tells “when”) …spent four hours there… (“four hours” tells “how long”) The terms “full time” and “part time” are used in this manner. …work full-time for them, not part-time… MW says that these terms are hyphenated as adverbs. Happy punctuating! Margie

“Old/Olds” in Combination with “Year/Years”

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…a five-year-old was… …knew the 12-year-olds who… The word old/olds is part of the hyphenated compound noun when the word year is singular. The word old/olds is a combining form, and the combination is hyphenated. …is five years old… …knew he was 12 years old… When the word years is plural, the word old is an adjective. There are no hyphens in the combination. Happy …

Hyphens — Again

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When a combination is recognized as a unit already — that is, it is a compound noun that is separate words — there is no need for a hyphen when it is used as an adjective. …substance abuse… …substance abuse counseling… …mental health… …mental health evaluation… …domestic violence… …domestic violence situation… The difficult thing, perhaps, is to decide whether something …

Just Musing…

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As I was listening to the news a couple of days ago, the newscaster said, “The several million dollar homes in that area are….” It is clear that it has to be “…the several-million-dollar homes…” because of the word “the.” Without the word “the,” it could go either way, I think. …several million-dollar homes… …several-million-dollar homes… Happy punctuating! Margie

Fractions and Hyphens

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen 6 Comments

Fractions are written out in words. They are hyphenated only when they come right in front of a noun, called a “direct” adjective. …increased by seven eighths… …only one third of them remained… …a seven-eights increase… …one-third reduction in staff… If there is a mixed number, a whole number and a fraction, in the sentence also, the fraction is in …

Hyphenating

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When you are trying to decide whether to hyphenate something, try this: …It is a large green bug that…. It is a bug. What kind of bug? It is a green bug. What kind of green bug? It is a green bug that is large. If this works and you can “build” it like this, it is not hyphenated. …It …

The Hyphen with a Name

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…Ray Charles-inspired arrangement… …Ray Charles-inspired and -motivated arrangement… …John Andrews-led department… …John Andrews-led and -directed committee… When the proper name has a “suffix,” it should be hyphenated to the last name. If there are two of them, “hang” a hyphen in front of the second one also to show it goes with the name. Happy punctuating! Margie