[Infographic] Hyphen Use: Hyphenation Rules

Want to learn more? Check out our guide to when to hyphenate numbers[2].

Picture of the number sixUse a hyphen with some prefixes

  • Prefixes that come before proper nouns: “un-American.”
  • Hyphenate prefixes ending in an a or i only when the root word begins with the same letter: “ultra-ambitious.”
  • All words beginning with self except for selfish and selfless: “self-righteous,” “self-loathing,” “self-assured.”
  • With the prefix ex: “The giant’s ex-wife cleared out the cave and took all his possessions.”

Hyphen use DON’Ts

Picture of the number oneUse a hyphen when words end in –ly

“The squid’s homework was beautifully presented.”

Picture of the number twoUse a hyphen between two adjectives when the word and could have been placed between them.

“The skunk received a lovely, fragrant bouquet on Valentine’s Day.”

Picture of the number threeUse a hyphen when nouns are followed by their modifiers

“The walls were paper thin.”
“The cheese is nine years old.”

Picture of the number fourUse a hyphen when fractions are used as nouns

“When the cake came, I grabbed my one-quarter slice immediately.”

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  1. ^ hyphenation rules (www.vappingo.com)
  2. ^ when to hyphenate numbers (www.vappingo.com)
  3. ^ Facebook Page (www.facebook.com)

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