A hyphen links words together as well as their meanings.
We have two kinds of words relating to compositions:
Root words and compound words.
Fore is a prefix.
Seen is a root.
Foreseen is a compound word.
1. Solid word
A solid word does not contain a hyphen.
Butterfly, powerhouse, grandstand, headline, spendthrift,
spellbound, colorblind, whiplash, payroll, blowtorch,
panhandle, playpen, railroad, Ö
Note: Some verb forms are built as separate words and
as one word when used as nouns.
Shut down, break down. (Verbs)
Shutdown, breakdown. (Nouns)
2. Compound words
Words connected together as a compound may be
written separately, written as one word, or connected by
Compound words uses hyphens to connect two or more words .
A hyphen is represented by ď-Ē (not -- which means a dash).
- Prefixes and suffixes to words,
- Words, parts of words, or compound words, and
- Syllables of words broken at the ends of lines.
Use a hyphen:
- In writing fractions and all numbers from 21 to 99
- figures or letters.
- Between the words of a group of words taking the place
of a single adjective (act as a single idea) before a noun.
Fifteen-years old boy.
However, when compound modifiers come after a noun, they
are not hyphenated:
He is fifteen years old.
Smart old man. No hyphen is used because smart and old are
two separate ideas.
- To make the sentence clear, use a hyphen when its
lack creates confusion.
Before-reduction on prices.
To separate the parts of a compound word using the prefixes.
Hyphenate onto root words the following prefixes:
Re-, all-, quasi-, ex-, self-, quarter-, quasi-, half-.
Hyphenate with "re" only when it means again, and if itís omitted, the
hyphen will cause confusion with another word.
Recover, remove: Re does not mean again: Donít use a hyphen.
Re-covered: Re means again and the omission of the hyphen may cause
with another word: Use a hyphen
Reissued: Re means again but the omission of the
hyphen doesnít cause a confusion
with another word: Do not use a hyphen.
- all words with the suffix self. Except: selfish and selfless.
- prefixes when they come before proper nouns or adjectives.
When a prefix ends in one vowel and a root word begins with a
different vowel, donít hyphenate:
- when a vowel would be doubled:
Semi-independent but semiconscious
In this case, the prefixes pre, de, pro, co, and re give solid
words by doubling the vowel (e and o).
Exceptions: co-owner and de-emphasize, pre-empt, pre-eminent, Ö
- To avoid tripling a consonant in compound word.
- To attach a prefix to a hyphenated compound word.
- To a word that might be misread or difficult to read
without the hyphen.
- When it means not, in is not hyphenated as a prefix.
Otherwise, it does.
Using the suffixes:
Separate the parts of a compound word using the suffixes:
- Use a hyphen to avoid tripling a consonant.
- Use a hyphen when the suffix like is attached to a
Shell-like (but childlike)
Compound Modifier uses a hyphen to connect two or
more words that precedes the word or phrases
- When a unit modifier is a combination of color
- When a unit modifier contains a past or present participle
- When a unit modifier contains numbers
- When we want to show contributions
- When the first element is an adverb ending in -ly
Satisfactorily long trip.
- When the unit modifier has a letter or number designation
as its second element
- When the first element of the unit modifier is a
comparative or superlative
Older best results.
- When the unit modifier is a foreign phrase
Ab initio calculation
- When the unit modifier is a proper name
North American Countries.
- When the unit modifier is written between quotation
ďLast cryĒ device.
- When the unit modifier is a scientific name
How to break words?
Words may be hyphenated at the ends of lines between syllables.
They are proper places to break words. Avoid, if possible
end-of-line hyphens, mainly when they are consecutive.
Divide words only between syllables.
Donít leave one letter at the end or beginning of a line.
Leave two-letter syllables at the end of a line.
(But two-letter endings may not be carried to the next line)
Donít divide the last word of a paragraph, page.
Divide hyphenated compound words only at the hyphen, and a solid
compounds at the natural breaks (before suffixes and after prefixes).
Abder. Ajaja - © - All rights reserved 2002.