Write Right

Writing Tip of the Week

When To Use a Hyphen

1. Use a hyphen to make some compound words.

The candidate was not well-known, but she was beginning to have a following in social media.

2. Use a hyphen to divide a word at the end of a line.

Although the candidate pretended to be stern, she was laugh-

ing when her opponent cracked a joke.

Don't divide—

a one-syllable word such as stand, poll

a one-letter syllable from the remainder of a word—a-genda

a contraction—don't, haven't, won't

3. Use a hyphen when combining two words to make a single adjective

before the noun it is modifying.

Her opponent had a smug look on his clean-shaven face.

4. Use a hyphen between the numbers in a fraction.

One-half of her opponent's platform was full of holes.

5. Use a hyphen to make new words which begin with the following

prefixes: half, great, ex, all and self.

all-around, self-contained, self-denial, half-time, half-section,