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Skidmore College
The Skidmore Guide to Writing

Hyphens (-)

  • Use a hyphen to indicate compound words:


  • Use a hyphen to join two word units:            


  • Use a hyphen to avoid doubling vowels and tripling consonants:

Anti-intellectual instead of antiintellectual

  • Use a hyphen between words that are spelled alike but have different meanings:

Re-creation does not mean the same thing as recreation.

  • Use a hyphen to form a compound adjective preceding a noun:

Spike Lee is a well-known film director.

  • Do not use a hyphen to form a compound word after a linking verb.

 Film director Spike Lee is well known.

Click here to read more about hyphens in the context of correct grammar.