View Full Version : Hyfinating(sp)

01-27-2007, 10:06 PM
I have a question. At the risk of sounding like a total moron, how do I know when to do this, or make write them as two separate words? For instance I am using the phrase traffic-filled. Should I write that way, or should I write it as "traffic filled?

01-27-2007, 11:10 PM
You'd hyphenate it if it precedes the noun it modifies in your sentence:

EG: The traffic-filled street

That said, I think the word 'congested' would sound better!

01-28-2007, 02:14 AM
what do most of you do when you run spell and grammar checks and it tells you to hyphenate something? Do you trust it or not? Just curious I never knew that rule Pat~ thanks for posting about it. Sometimes I think the Word checker is wrong. But that's just me.

01-28-2007, 03:51 AM
Some of the hyphenating rules are changing. For instance, re-election and reelection can both be found in use now, same with inter-governmental and intergovernmental. The rules for hyphenating words as in "traffic-filled street" haven't really changed, though sometimes I still have trouble figuring out exactly when to do it.

Silver King
01-28-2007, 04:09 AM
sometimes I still have trouble figuring out exactly when to do it.
When the two words are joined to form a compound adjective, the hyphen is usually needed.

And as you stated, some words which used to be hyphenated are now spelled as one word. Sometimes, the riddle is answered as easily as looking up the word in a dictionary.

01-29-2007, 01:19 AM
A temporary compound adjective is formed when the two words describing a noun together assume a different meaning than their separate meanings. Writers who form temporary compounds should generally hyphenate them when they are used as adjectives and appear before the noun. If the compound adjective appears after the noun, hyphenate only if it’s needed for clarity.

Examples of compound adjectives (all hyphenated because they are both temporary and come before the noun): hard-nosed boss, ill-fated voyage, mass-produced shoes, wacked-out psycho, thrown-together salad, up-to-the-minute news.

To test...
Have you created a compound adjective, or just put two descriptive words together? To check, see if you can remove either word without making nonsense or changing the meaning of the remaining word. A tall frosty glass of beer still makes sense if either ‘tall’ or ‘frosty’ is removed, while blue-ribbon pie requires both ‘blue’ and ‘ribbon’ and should therefore be hyphenated before the word ‘pie.’

Maryn, who mis-poured a beer last night and had a tall, frosty glass of foam