Hyphen
 
 
 
 
Hyphen

In this lesson you will learn the definition of a hyphen and study examples of hyphens.
Hyphen Definition
  • A hyphen looks like this:
-
  • A hyphen is:
  • used both to join words and to separate syllables
  • often confused with a dash, which is longer
  • used as a multiple-word modifier, as in blood-red moon
  • used to denote syllabification, as syl-lab-i-fi-ca-tion
  • Nouns formed of a noun and an adjective are frequently hyphenated, as death-wish
  • names for numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine have hyphens
  • if a word is split onto two lines, a hyphen will usually be inserted immediately before the split
Hyphen Examples
  • Examples where meaning is changed due to the placement of hyphens
  • disease-causing poor nutrition meaning poor nutrition that causes disease
  • disease causing poor nutrition meaning a disease that causes poor nutrition
  • a man-eating shark is a shark that eats humans
  • a man eating shark is a man who is eating shark meat
  • a blue green sea is a contradiction
  • a blue-green sea is a sea whose color is somewhere between blue and green
  • three-hundred-year-old trees are trees that are 300 years old.
  • three hundred-year-old trees are three trees that are 100 years old.
  • Additional examples of proper use
  • text-only document or the document is text-only
  • Detroit-based organization or the organization is Detroit-based
  • board-certified strategy or the strategy is board-certified
  • thought-provoking argument or the argument is thought-provoking
  • time-sensitive error or the error is time-sensitive
  • case-sensitive password or the password is case-sensitive
  • light-gathering surface or the surface is light-gathering
  • award-winning novel or the novel is award-winning (but, more likely, …won an award with no hyphen)
  • web-based encyclopedia or the encyclopedia is web-based
  • fun-loving person or the person is fun-loving
  • how to wire-transfer funds
 
Grammar Tips
Can You Catch These Native Speaker Mistakes?
(Beginner - Listening)

An audio lesson to help with your understanding of common mistakes. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.
Commonly Confused Words: Part One
(Beginner - Listening, reading)

A video lesson to help with your understanding of commonly confused words.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Click here to visit the lesson page.
Commonly Confused Words: Part One
(Beginner - Listening)

An audio lesson to help with your understanding of commonly confused words. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.
Commonly Confused Words: Part Two
(Beginner - Listening, reading)

A video lesson to help with your understanding of commonly confused words.
The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed.
Click here to visit the lesson page.
Commonly Confused Words: Part Two
(Beginner - Listening)

An audio lesson to help with your understanding of commonly confused words. The English is spoken at 75% of normal speed. Click here to visit the lesson page with the written script for this audio program.
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  Resources

These links contain many English learning resources. Some are for students, some are for teachers. If you find information not on Fun Easy English, please post a comment below, and I will make every effort to add it to the site. Thanks.
 
 
 
 
 
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