Hyphen or no-hyphen for adjective phrase for impact/emphasis/clarity?

Asked by: Angie Haynes

Are hyphens used for emphasis?

A dash is expressed as an “em dash” ( — ) in printing, is expressed in plain text as two hyphens ( — ) and is used in place of a comma, colon or semicolon for greater emphasis. It denotes a major break or pause and should not be overused.

Should adjectival phrases be hyphenated?

Phrases often function as adjectives. When a number of words together modify or describe a noun, the phrase is ordinarily hyphenated. The general rule: if two or more consecutive words make sense only when understood together as an adjective modifying a noun, hyphenate those words.

Does high impact need a hyphen?

When using high or low (or other adjectives) as part of a compound adjective before a noun, a hyphen should be inserted between high or low and the word that it modifies. Some examples of compound adjectives using high and low are high-level/low-level, high-income/low-income, and high-impact/low-impact.

Do you need hyphen between adverb and adjective?

When a hyphen connects an adverb and an adjective (e.g. well-dressed), it is known as a compound modifier. Compound modifiers describe the noun that follows with greater precision. But hyphens don’t always come after an adverb and adjective. When the adverb ends in -ly, it needs no hyphen (e.g. highly regarded).

What punctuation is used for emphasis?


A colon is used to give emphasis, present dialogue, introduce lists or text, and clarify composition titles. Emphasis—Capitalize the first word after the colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence.

Where do we use dash and hyphen?

A hyphen joins two or more words together while a dash separates words into parenthetical statements. The two are sometimes confused because they look so similar, but their usage is different. Hyphens are not separated by spaces, while a dash has a space on either side.

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What are hyphenated adjectives examples?

A compound adjective is an adjective that is made up of multiple individual words. Usually, the words are connected by a hyphen or hyphens when used as an adjective. Words like absent-minded and happy-go-lucky are examples of compound adjectives.

What words are hyphenated?

Here are a few common compound words that are usually written with a hyphen:

  • truck-driver.
  • ice-cream.
  • year-end.
  • sign-in.
  • warm-up.
  • mother-in-law.
  • free-for-all.
  • follow-up.

What is a hyphenated compound adjective?

A compound adjective is formed when two or more adjectives are joined together to modify the same noun. These terms should be hyphenated to avoid confusion or ambiguity. For example: Diana submitted a 6-page document. She adopted a two-year-old cat.

Do compound adjectives need hyphens?

Generally, hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound adjective. When a compound adjective follows a noun, a hyphen is usually not necessary.

Why do some compound adjectives have a hyphen?

In a temporary compound that is used as an adjective before a noun, use a hyphen if the term can be misread or if the term expresses a single thought (i.e., all words together modify the noun).

What is a hyphenated adjective called?

We use a hyphen to connect the word English with speaking to show that it is one adjective (or one idea). This adjective with two words joined by the hyphen is called a compound adjective.

What is a proper adjective example?

“Proper adjectives” also describe people, places and things, but they are based on names and therefore need to be capitalized, like the names. For example, Spain is the name of a country and starts with a capital letter. The adjective based on Spain (Spanish) must also start with a capital letter.

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What’s the use of a hyphen?

The hyphen (-) is a mark that joins words or parts of words and is placed directly between letters and with no spaces.

What is an example of a hyphenated modifier?

Look at the following examples of sentences featuring compound modifiers connected by hyphens: This rock-hard cake is absolutely impossible to eat. The quick-witted boy had everyone on the bus laughing. No one likes a two-faced person.

What is a adjective modifier?

A modifier is a word or phrase that describes another word or phrase. Two common types of modifiers are the adverb (a word that describes an adjective, a verb, or another adverb) and the adjective (a word that describes a noun or pronoun).

Which compound modifier does not require a hyphen to clarify its meaning?

A compound modifier that is not hyphenated is referred to as an open compound. When a numeral and a noun are used in a compound modifier that precedes a noun, the numeral and the noun take the singular form.