Hyphens

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Hyphens for Clarity

Hyphens within a word can make some words clearer. They are frequently used with prefixes ending with the same vowel as the root begins with to show pronunciation or emphasize meaning. They are also frequently used to distinguish between words. Examples: co-op (instead of coop, also prefix ending with same vowel as root beginning) re-elect

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Numbers Written Out with Hyphens

Use a hyphen between the tens and units number when writing out the numbers twenty-one to ninety-nine in words. Just like that! Do not use hyphens for other numbers. Incorrect: Two-hundred-fifty-six Correct: Two hundred fifty-six (Hyphen between tens and units only) Use a hyphen between the numerator and denominator when a fraction is written out

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Hyphenated Prefixes and Suffixes

Use a hyphen after a prefix followed by a proper noun or proper adjective. Examples: mid-June pre-Columbian Afro-American Use a hyphen in words beginning with the prefixes all-, ex- (meaning “former”), and self- and in words ending with the suffix -elect. Incorrect: selfpropelled ex-treme (Prefix self- needs hyphen. The prefix in extreme does not mean

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Hyphenated Compound Words

Hyphens are used internally in some compound words to separate the words forming the compound word. Examples: merry-go-round editor-in-chief When unsure of the hyphenation of such words, check a dictionary. Usage may vary. As some words are more widely used, the hyphen is dropped. For example, in the early 1800s the word blackbird was usually

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