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Monday, April 9, 2012



It is a form of punctuation that looks like this: -

A hyphen is used to join two words that express a single idea. In typed text, a hyphen is used to connect syllables of a word when it is continued to the next line. Grammarians have conjured up many rules for using the hyphen. A few for you to connect with:

1) Hyphenate all numbers, twenty-one through ninety-nine.

2) Hyphenate fractions when written out.
     For example, add one-third cup of flour to the batter if it is too watery, or add three-fourths cup of water if it is too thick.

3) Notice! DO NOT hyphenate compound nouns. If in doubt whether a word combination is a compound noun, look it up in the dictionary.
     For example, fireman is a compound noun; therefore we would not write fire-man.

4) Hyphenate two (or more) adjectives that express a single idea about a noun they precede.
     For example: The genius-slight PeteJoe determined that if he got a good stick, he could hold that rattler's head to the ground while Junior grabbed it by the tail. (Together, the adjectives genius and slight convey the understanding that PeteJoe is none too smart.)

5) Hyphenate any compound verbs (two verbs expressing a single idea) not found in the dictionary as one word.
     For example: PeteJoe slash-slapped a willow stick at the viper's head.

6) Compound adverbs that do not end in -ly and come before the noun are hyphenated. If they come after the noun they refer to in the sentence they are written as two separate words.
     For example:The little-anticipated forked tongue whipped threateningly from its lips.

Get creative. Leave a sentence in the comments with properly hyphenated adjectives or verbs.

Tomorrow: Its v. It's

This post is brought to you by the April A to Z Blog Challenge. Check back all through April for daily discussions of writing conventions.


Donna Martin said...

Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge. Lovely post...good luck with the challenge. !

Donna L Martin

Nancy Thompson said...

Great rules to always keep in mind. My A to Z posts are all writing related; things I've learned about writing. You can never have too much knowledge. Thanks for sharing yours!!

I'm a new follower via the A to Z.

William Kendall said...

Hyphenating numbers... one thing that I never seem to do!

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