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Using hypen in words


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I have a problem understanding using hyphen in words. I am pretty good in talking and listening English but writing has always been a bit of a weakness. For example, when I type "treehugging" should I put a hyphen between those two words or should I separate them? I know putting them together is wrong since there is a red line under the word right now. Any help would be appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The use of the hyphen is something that still confuses me from time to time, that is why I want you to check out this useful article on the topic. It explains very well the use of the hyphen :)  Here it is: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-to-use-hyphens  Wanna a shorter version?  The head to: http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/hyphens.htm

I believe the last one is a better source, straight to the point without all the drama and yada yada we all hate when we want to get an answer fast, lol.

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The links Trellum gave are great. I don't know each and every situation that it would be applicable but I try and just go by the general rule provided in the second link which is to use it whenever the meaning might get confusing if used in conjunction together such as when saying cooking oil, it could mean you are heating up some oil as opposed to when you say cooking-oil there it is clearer you mean that it is a type of oil. Although I have to admit I never use hyphens in cooking oil because I always just assume everyone would understand what I'm talking about.

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  • 5 months later...

While I think that the link are rather good, I feel like in actual practice the second link would be too broad. And that it will promote the overuse of hyphens. Of course there are many cases that you can use it, where it is grammatically fine, but the presentation would be rather "sloppy."

For example, using your own example "cooking-oil," I think in a general good sentence, through context, it should be obvious which definition is intended.

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Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

Hyphen can be confusing. I often use the word 'world building' when I review books. Sometimes people would correct me, "It should be world-building." Then someone else would come and say, "No. There's no need for hyphen. It's one word; worldbuilding."

 

Edited by Litnax
typo
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I think a good sense check is to identify if you are combining two completely different words. This makes it a compound noun and would most likely warrant the use of a hyphen. If the 2 words you want to hyphen has a root word then it probably doesn't need a hyphen. Obviously when in doubt, Google is your friend :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

The use of the hyphen is something that still confuses me from time to time, that is why I want you to check out this useful article on the topic. It explains very well the use of the hyphen :)  Here it is: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-to-use-hyphens  Wanna a shorter version?  The head to: http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/hyphens.htm

 

I believe the last one is a better source, straight to the point without all the drama and yada yada we all hate when we want to get an answer fast, lol.

Hey, thanks for this! I consider myself fairly fluent, and I write a lot in English, but hyphens are still bothering me. Hopefully I'll adopt the knowledge from here and finally figure it out. Also, are two words connected with a hyphen considered a one word or two words?

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/22/2015, 11:51:56, JasleenKaur said:

 I think hyphen is only used combining two word whether you are writing sentence in line and single word is incomplete in the end then you can use hyphen for merge word in the next line. 

Problem that most non-English speakers (and many times native speakers too) face is when it comes to use hyphens at the end of a line where a word doesn't fit and it's necessary to break it with a carriage return (in typing) but yet merged by the hyphen.

When hyphen is used to combine two words, it's not so hard to understand the how to, or when it should or shouldn't be done.

I don't know about other languages, but in Spanish a word an hyphen can only be place between full syllables when in need to separate the word. In example the word ESPERAR (to wait) which can be separated either as "es-perar" or "espe-rar"  but never as "esp-era"

Hyphen must not break a contiguous vowel and vocal, and neither a diphthong or triphthong, which are made with extra vowels but sounding like a unique syllable.

As per my understanding, in English we can break the word at any point, but being honest, I remember to have learned about rules to do this, which I cannot remember, so I have to read the reference that @Trellum provided, LOL

 

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Yup, i agree with your comment. But hyphen is also used in so many languages like Spanish language use hyphen for separation of words and other used for adding and in English it is used for complete words when some words broken during complete lines.  

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Yes, in Spanish hyphen only goes if a consonant and vowel are adjacent, and when the syllable includes a diphthong  (two consecutive vowels) or a triphthong  (3 consecutive vowels, hyphen must fall after them.

An example of a word containing a diphthong would be, "we would wait" which translate as "nosotros esperaríamos"

If the word "esperaríamos" has to be separated by an hyphen at the diphthong syllabe, correct way to do is this; espera- ríamos or esperaría-mos

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Yes, Spanish has some words with triphthongs, including personal names such as Cuauhtémoc (last Aztec emperor) or Guaicaipuro (An Indian native Venezuelan leader); also in the name of places such as Cuautitlán or Cuautepec, as well as in verb conjugation for  "vosotros", second-person singular pronoun still in use in both Spain and Argentina, as in example "vosotros actuais" (you act)

 

Here is an interesting reading about different vowel combinations (in Spanish) http://www.wikilengua.org/index.php/Lista_de_combinaciones_de_vocales#Tres_vocales

And this list offer 103 examples of triphthongs, http://www.ejemplode.com/12-clases_de_espanol/48-ejemplo_de_triptongo.html

 

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