RephraselyRephrasely

When To Use A Hyphen In A Sentence

Updated May 11, 2023

When to Use a Hyphen in a Sentence

Introduction

Understanding when to use a hyphen in a sentence can be a challenging aspect of grammar for many writers. Hyphens are small but powerful punctuation marks that can significantly impact the clarity and meaning of a sentence. In this article, we will explore the rules and guidelines for using hyphens correctly, helping you enhance your writing skills and avoid common mistakes.

Compound Words

One of the primary uses of a hyphen is in forming compound words. When two or more words are combined to create a single word with a unified meaning, a hyphen is often used to connect them. For example:

  • Mother-in-law: In this compound word, "mother" and "law" are joined by a hyphen to indicate the relationship between the mother and the law.
  • High-end: This compound word combines "high" and "end" to describe something of superior quality or sophistication.

Remember that not all compound words require a hyphen. In some cases, they are written as a single word or as separate words depending on the context and usage.

Prefixes and Suffixes

Hyphens are also used when adding prefixes or suffixes to words. When a prefix or suffix is added to a base word, a hyphen is often used to avoid confusion or to ensure clarity. Here are some examples:

  • Re-examine: The prefix "re-" is connected to "examine" with a hyphen to indicate doing something again.
  • Child-friendly: The suffix "-friendly" is joined with "child" to describe something suitable or safe for children.

Again, it is important to note that not all words with prefixes or suffixes require a hyphen. The usage may vary depending on the specific word and the style guide you are following.

Adjective-Noun Combinations

Hyphens are frequently used when an adjective modifies a noun, particularly when they appear before the noun. This helps avoid ambiguity and ensures the reader understands the intended meaning. Consider the following examples:

  • Well-known author: The hyphen connects "well" and "known" to clarify that the author is famous or widely recognized.
  • Five-year plan: Here, the hyphen ensures that "five" and "year" are understood as a single concept, referring to a plan spanning five years.

Numbers and Fractions

Hyphens are essential when writing out numbers or fractions as words. They help to indicate the connection between the individual digits and ensure clarity. For instance:

  • Twenty-two: The hyphen connects the tens digit ("twenty") and the units digit ("two") to form the number 22.
  • One-third: In this case, the hyphen clarifies that "one" and "third" together represent a fraction.

Conclusion

Understanding when to use a hyphen in a sentence is crucial for clear and effective writing. Whether it's forming compound words, adding prefixes or suffixes, clarifying adjective-noun combinations, or writing out numbers and fractions, hyphens play a vital role in maintaining clarity and avoiding confusion. By following the rules and guidelines discussed in this article, you can confidently wield hyphens and enhance the quality of your writing.

About Rephrasely

Getting your wording just right

Paraphrasing is a natural part of the writing process as it helps you clarify your thinking and suit your words to your audience. Using a Rephrasely helps structure and streamline this work, and our paraphrase tool offers 20 modes, many of them free, for accomplishing just this. The 20 modes we offer are diverse, including a summarize tool, a free grammar checker, a mode to simplify text, and a sentence shortener. There are sentence rephrasers and paraphrase rephrase tools, and we pride ourselves on having both, since our reword generator accounts for context at both the sentence and paragraph levels.

When you google paraphrase you will get a variety of results, from a free Rephrasely, to an article spinner, to a general phrase tool, and it can be hard to determine which of these rephrase tools will best help you complete your work. If you simply need to get a word rephrase, that is, reword only small elements within the sentence, many tools will suffice, but there is the risk that you end up with a tool that does not consider context and produces very awkward and ungrammatical sentences. Rephrasing is very much an art, and we’ve built our paraphrase bot to produce the most correct results in 20 modes in over 100 languages, making it the best paraphrasing tool at an exceptionally low cost. So whether you need to paraphrase deutsch, paraphrase greek, or paraphrase bahasa melayu, the next time you think, I need something to paraphrase this for me, you’ll know where to turn.

From keywords to paragraphs

Generating paragraphs with unique ideas can be challenging, and too often writers get stuck at this stage of the writing process. With our paragraph tool, you can enter keywords and let our AI generate paragraphs for you, so that you can have something to work with, refine the output, and become more engaged in your writing.

A paragraph generator creates links between your ideas, such that the output is sensible, unique, and stimulating, very close to what you would expect a thoughtful human paragraph writer to produce.

Paragraph makers are nice, but what about a short story generator? Because our AI is generalized, it serves a story generator, an essay generator, a poem generator, and much more. To generate compelling stories, you should provide the story generator with useful keywords from which it can develop plot elements, including characters, setting details, and any situational information. To generate reasonably good essays, you should likewise provide the essay maker with details around argumentative positions and any other pertinent ideas. If you more specifically want an introduction paragraph generator or conclusion paragraph generator, you can provide starter text and keywords that will best enable our essay creator to produce them.

You may well ask, “is this essay generator free?” Everything on this site is free within a 3-day trial, so you can test and develop confidence in our products. You may also be wondering where this is an essay automatic writer or if it will take a while to get results. All results appear within a matter of seconds, so you can move through your work as quickly as possible.

You may have professional needs for creating paragraphs as well, such as those needed for cover letter. Most of the time a cover letter template includes information that is not relevant to you; by using your own keywords, we can produce cover letter examples that are relevant to your use case and often require very little editing. By using this service, you can also learn how to write a cover letter and achieve the cover letter format you need.

Plagiarism checker free

Like everything else on our site, you can check plagiarism free within a trial, which is a great opportunity for those who want to check a paper for plagiarism without committing to paying before they see results. This free plagiarism checker is great for students and clearly indicates how to check for plagiarism by highlighting areas of similarity between the two texts. Just to be sure you are not accidentally plagiarizing, be sure to check all of your paraphrases as well.