This section of Exploring English describes use of the hyphen ( - ) in English punctuation.
Used in compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine:
Used to express decades in words:
Used to indicate a range of numbers:
Used to form compound nouns.
Note: English is an evolving language. The trend for new compound nouns is to join separate words with a hyphen, then to drop the hyphen when the compound noun is in common usage. Thus "house boat" became 'house-boat', then 'houseboat'. Consult a recent dictionary for the current preference.
Used to spell out a word:
Used to divide a word into syllables:
Used to separate double letters that may cause confusion in a prefixed word:
Used to join the elements of a compound modifier when used before the noun it modifies:
They ran a fly-by-night government.
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Last Modified April 08, 2003