Hyphenate the following when used as adjectival phrases: full time, part time, on
campus, off campus.
The part-time faculty . . .on-campus housing
Hyphenate a cardinal numeral used with a unit of measurement if the compound precedes
a noun (as an adjectival phrase).
three-mile limit . . . 100-yard dash . . . 10-meter band . . . four-year-old boy
The dictionary is the first source for whether words formed with the prefixes listed below are spelled as single words or with hyphens.
Lacking dictionary guidance, words formed with this list of prefixes are to be spelled as single words when used as adjectives.
re-, un-, non-, semi-
pseudo-, supra-, co-
1) Second element capitalized or a figure, un-American, pre-1914;
2) To distinguish homonyms, re-cover, re-create;
3) Second element more than one word, pre-Civil War.
Hyphenate words in phrases used as adjectives before a noun.
- The proposal was alast-ditch effort at compromise.
- The candidate produced amile-long list of ideas.
- one-time bonus; 100-yard dash; one-foot margin; full-time employee; 30-day pay period; eight-week session.
When a number and unit of measurement are used adjectivally, they are hyphenated
12-inch ruler; 19th-century painter.
Don’t hyphenate compounds with words ending in ly:
Highly regarded leader; ridiculously long half-time show; beautifully decorated office; quickly drawn character.
Hyphenate half compounds
- Robert was onlyhalf-awake during the lecture.
- Mike refused to consider thehalf-baked
- Halfheartedand halfway are spelled without hyphenating.
Any like words can be spelled without hyphenating.
Childlike; lifelike; birdlike.
Self words should be hyphenated.
Self-employed; self-serving; self-sufficient
Use a hyphen with all proper nouns and wide:
Don’t hyphenate other wide words: statewide, nationwide, countywide.
Multi words are not hyphenated unless such spelling makes for awkward reading.
- Multimedia; multifaceted; multipurpose
- Multi-talented; multi-generational
- nondegree-seeking student
Nonprofit is one word.
OFF CAMPUS, ON CAMPUS
As adverb, no hyphens; as adjective, hyphens.
- The students rented an apartment off campus for the summer.
- On-campus space is unavailable.
Spelling, hyphenation and usage rules for some common terms
- child care (two words)
- classwork: one word; course work, two words
- daytime; nighttime
- decision-making process; the process of decision making
- email (no hyphen)
- fundraiser; fundraising (no hyphen)
- 15-week semester
- grade-point average
- healthcare (one word)
- lifelong (adjective)
(daylong; monthlong; weeklong; yearlong)
- life span (noun); life-span (adjective)
- long-range (adjective)
- long-term (adjective)
- longtime (adjective)
- on-site (hyphenate as adjective or adverb)
- ultra don’t hyphenate: ultrafine, ultraviolet
- under don’t hyphenate: underline, underfunded
- Vice President no hyphen
- website one word
- workforce, workplace, workstation; but work site is two words
- X-ray hyphen
FIGURES OR WORDS?
In general, use figures for numbers 10 or higher, including ordinal numbers.
When several numbers appear together in context, the style of the larger number rules
the style of the smaller numbers.
20 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds
Always use figures in numbered addresses.
Abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. and directional cues when used with a numbered address.
Always spell out other words such as alley, drive and road.
If the street name or directional cue is used without a numbered address, it should be capitalized and spelled out.
If a street name is a number, spell out First through Ninth and use figures for 10th and higher.
Examples of correctly formatted addresses:
- The office is on North Grant Street; the office is at 101 N. Grant St.
- Northwestern Avenue goes to the city limits; he lives just outside the city limits
at 10101 Northwestern Ave.
- South Ninth Street is closed for repairs; you can walk past the construction site
to reach the apartment building at 10 S. Ninth St.
- The fraternity house is at 102 S. 10th St.; fraternity houses run the length of South
- He just moved to 605 Woodside Drive; Woodside Drive is at the top of the mountain.
Expressed as a number, age is always written in figures.
If the age is used as an adjective or as a substitute for a noun, it should be hyphenated. Don’t use apostrophes when describing an age range.
- A 21-year-old student.
- The student is 21 years old.
- The girl, 8, has a brother, 11.
- The contest is for 18-year-olds.
- He is in his 20s.
Don’t begin a sentence with figures. Spell out the figures or recast the sentence to avoid beginning it with figures.
Exception: Sentences can be started with a figure identifying a calendar year.
1976 was a good year for contributions.
No apostrophe: 1920s, 1980s, mid-1970s
Spell out thirties, forties, fifties, sixties
GRADE POINT AVERAGES
Use figures to express GPAs to one decimal place.
Add extra decimal places when specificity is essential.
Channel 12 . . . Highway 65 . . . Henry VIII . . . Apollo 12
For amounts of $1 million or more, use the $ sign and numerals for up to two decimal
worth $4.35 million
more than $1 million
For amounts less than $1 million:
one dollar . . . $10 . . . $100 . . . $1,000 . . . $100,000
For amounts less than $1, use numerals and the word cents. Use the $ sign and decimals
for larger amounts.
five cents . . . 12 cents . . . $1.12
Don't use a hyphen between the figure and the word, unless in an adjectival phrase as shown below.
For whole dollar amounts (without cents), don’t use decimals or zeroes.
$1 … $20 … $167
Generally, the same guideline applies as in words and numerals. Use words to refer to ordinal numbers first through ninth, and numeral versions of ordinal numbers 10th and above.
- He graduated first in his class, while his twin brother graduated 20th.
- All of the children in fifth grade were mentored by students in 10th grade.
PAGES and DIVISIONS
page 10 . . . part 4 . . . exercise 2 . . . chapter 12
PERCENTS and DECIMALS
Use figures for decimal fractions and percentages (including academic grades).
Use and spell out the word “percent” in general copy and not the percent sign.
Use the percent sign (%) only in scientific or statistical copy.
about 3 percent voted . . . 3.8 and 95 are equivalent grades
Use figures: 865-555-1500.
Use hyphens only. No parentheses and no periods.
For toll-free numbers: 800-111-1000.
If extension numbers are needed, use a comma to separate the main number from the extension:
865-555-1500, ext. 2.
Use figures with a.m. and p.m. (and lowercase a.m. and p.m.)
Don’t use a colon followed by zeroes.
Add a colon followed by two digits only when those digits are not both zeroes.
11 a.m. . . . 4:30 p.m.
6:57 a.m. . . . 8 p.m.
Use words with o'clock under 10, figures for 10 and over.
four o'clock . . . 12 o'clock
It’s not necessary to include “12” and never add a.m. or p.m. to midnight or noon.
The store closed at noon…
By midnight, the storm had stopped…