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Punctuation: Hyphens

Hyphen Basics

A hyphen is a punctuation mark that connects words.

Use a hyphen when a compound phrase is used as an adjective to modify the following word:

Example: The peer-reviewed research suggested...
Example: As a fourth-grade teacher, I...
Example: Anderson (1998) tried to avoid face-to-face conflicts.

Do Not Use Hyphens...

  1. When a compound word comes after the noun it modifies.
    Incorrect: The research was peer-reviewed.
     
    Correct: The peer-reviewed research...
  2. Using most prefixes and suffixes. Words such as "extra" and "phobia" can be combined with other words without using a hyphen.
    Example: The unbiased study displayed multifaceted information about agoraphobia.

Here is a list of these prefixes and suffixes:

  • after
  • anti
  • bi
  • co
  • counter
  • equi
  • extra
  • infra
  • inter
  • intra
  • macro
  • mega
  • meta
  • micro
  • mid
  • mini
  • multi
  • non
  • over
  • post
  • pre
  • pro
  • pseudo
  • re
  • semi
  • socio
  • sub
  • super
  • supra
  • ultra
  • un
  • under

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