The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. Press [Alt]+[Ctrl]- to insert an em dash. However, this is not always desirable behavior, especially when it could lead to ambiguity (e.g. A hyphen joins two or more words together while a dash separates words into parenthetical statements. For example, preoperative and postoperative becomes pre- and postoperative (not pre- and post-operative) when suspended.

Web. The word segmentation rules of most text systems consider a hyphen to be a word boundary and a valid point at which to break a line when flowing text. Numbers between twenty-one and ninety-nine should also be hyphenated when they’re spelled Do not hyphenate connected words if the first word ends with "ly.". Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals. You can contact me at

If you're sending content to Twitter or Facebook, most devices will render the characters correctly if you copy the content from Word. Many words that have been hyphenated in the past have since dropped the hyphen and become a single word (email, nowadays). In written English, punctuation is… read more ». [17], When a compound modifier follows the term to which it applies, a hyphen is typically not used if the compound is a temporary compound. As a general rule, compound adjectives that come before a noun are hyphenated (for example, "a coffee-colored tie"), but compound adjectives that come after a noun are not hyphenated ("My tie was coffee colored"). Jane Doe and John Smith might become Jane and John Smith-Doe, or Doe-Smith, for instance. For example, "A cost-effective method was used" and "The method was cost-effective" (cost-effective is a permanent compound that is hyphenated as a headword in various dictionaries). What are all the symbols used by computers? In formal writing you should use the bracket rather than the dash as a dash is considered less formal. For other uses, see, For Wikipedia's own standards for hyphen use, see, With numbers greater than two, where a plural noun would normally be used in an unhyphenated predicative position, the singular form of the noun is generally used in the hyphenated form used attributively. Hyphens are not separated by spaces, while a dash has a space on either side. A hyphen by any other name might not be the hyphen you need. Use the em dash to separate a unique thought from the main clause of a sentence. If you don’t know what compound modifier is … 10 Simple Rules for Using Hyphen “-” (With Sample Sentences) Read More » For example, wholly owned subsidiary and quickly moving vehicle are unambiguous, because the adverbs clearly modify the adjectives: "quickly" cannot modify "vehicle". On the Home tab, click Replace in the Editing group. [29] Examination of an original copy on vellum (Hubay index #35) in the U. S. Library of Congress shows that Gutenberg's movable type was set justified in a uniform style, 42 equal lines per page. For example, "know-how" has a different meaning than "know" and "how.". Unicode also encodes the hyphen and minus separately, as U+2010 ‐ and U+2212 − respectively, along with the em dash U+2014 —, en dash U+2013 – and other related characters: these are the forms used in profession… Simply type the code and then press [Alt]+X; Word will convert the code if the code stands alone. Em dash, En dash, Hyphenation, Keyboard terms, Plus. might.

Let’s start with compound modifiers.

For example, compare 4+3−2=5 (minus) and 4+3-2=5 (hyphen-minus); in most fonts the hyphen-minus will not have the optimal width, thickness, or vertical position, whereas the minus character will. It is often used instead of dashes or minus signs in situations where the preferred characters are unavailable (such as ASCII-only text), where the preferred characters take effort to enter (via dialog boxes or multi-key, unmemorable keyboard shortcuts), or when the writer is unaware of the distinction. Noun–noun compound modifiers may also be written without a hyphen when no confusion is likely: grade point average and department store manager. The two are sometimes confused because they look so similar, but their usage is different. Pictured is an example of the hyphen and underscore key on top of the keyboard. Don't confuse the hyphen (-) with the dash (—). Thanks for your vote! A suspended hyphen (also called a suspensive hyphen or hanging hyphen, or less commonly a dangling or floating hyphen) may be used when a single base word is used with separate, consecutive, hyphenated words that are connected by "and", "or", or "to". Could Microsoft be en route to dumping Windows in favor of Linux? His tools did not allow for a sublinear hyphen, and he thus moved it to the middle of the line. If you don't see the Special option, click More. A hyphen may be used to connect groups of numbers, such as in dates (see below), telephone numbers or sports scores. I answer readers' questions when I can, but there's no guarantee.

International standard ISO 8601, which was accepted as European Standard EN 28601 and incorporated into various typographic style guides (e.g., DIN 5008 in Germany), brought about a new standard using the hyphen. The Gutenberg printing press required words made up of individual letters of type to be held in place by a surrounding non-printing rigid frame. In the resulting dialog, click Special to see the characters (. Plaques on the wall of the Moscow Kremlin are written this way. In the ASCII character encoding, the hyphen is encoded as character 45. Em dashes are often represented in British usage by a single hyphen-minus surrounded by spaces, or in American usage by two hyphen-minuses surrounded by spaces. Use a hyphen when a number forms part of an adjectival compound.

The two are sometimes confused because they look so similar, but their usage is different.

Hyphens are also commonly used to divide words that fall at the end of a line of text and continue on the next line. It is usually used with a compound modifier when the modifier comes before the word it’s modifying. Their names are actually a description: The en dash is the width of an uppercase N; the em dash is the width of an uppercase M. As you might expect, the em dash is wider than the en dash. Combine adjectives when neither can stand alone (hyphen), Break a word that wraps to the next line at the right margin (hyphen), Connect grouped numbers, such as a phone number or a social security number (hyphen), Indicate a negative numeric value (minus), Click Insert, click Symbol in the Symbols group, and choose More Symbols (, In the resulting dialog, choose (normal text) from the Font dropdown. (In contrast, the hyphen in "a more-important reason" is not necessary, because the syntax cannot be misinterpreted.) Current modules of the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) standard provide language-specific hyphenation dictionaries. In parts of Europe and in India, the hyphen is used to delineate parts within a written date. In the digital age, we can use the correct symbols, but because we're so familiar with the hyphen-minus character, it persists as the character used most often to: Most of the time, we use the same character to do all of the above, but technically, there's a subtle difference between a hyphen and a minus sign: The minus sign has more leading between itself and the adjacent characters and sits higher horizontally. For example, "full-scale" modifies "test" in "full-scale test." For example Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a descendant of Louis Lemlé Dreyfus whose son was Léopold Louis-Dreyfus. When one of the parts of the modifier is a proper noun or a proper adjective, there is no hyphen (e.g., "a South American actor").[19]. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. What you might not know is that Word has other hyphen characters--characters that are more precise to context. For examples "to-do," "merry-go-round," "high-risk," "T-shirt," and "sixty-six" are all words with hyphens.

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