3.8 Hyphens

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the uses of hyphens.
  2. Properly use hyphens in sentences.

A hyphen (-) looks similar to a dash but is shorter and used in different ways.

Hyphens between Two Adjectives That Work as One

Use a hyphen to combine words that work together to form a single description.

The fiftyfiveyearold athlete was just as qualified for the marathon as his younger opponents.

My doctor recommended against taking the medication, since it can be habitforming.

My study group focused on preparing for the midyear review.

Hyphens When a Word Breaks at the End of a Line

Use a hyphen to divide a word across two lines of text. You may notice that most word-processing programs will do this for you. If you have to manually insert a hyphen, place the hyphen between two syllables. If you are unsure of where to place the hyphen, consult a dictionary or move the entire word to the next line.

My supervisor was concerned that the team meet

ing would conflict with the client meeting.

Key Takeaways

  • Hyphens join words that work as one adjective.
  • Hyphens break words across two lines of text.

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