Hyphenation

 

GENERAL 

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

 

ADJECTIVE FORMS

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.

pre-, post-
over-, under-
intra-, extra-
infra-, ultra-
sub-, super-
pro-, anti-
re-, un-, non-, semi-
pseudo-, supra-, co-

Exceptions: 
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:
University-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

 

“NON” PREFIXES

  • non-credit
  • nondegree-seeking student
  • non-discrimination
  • non-preregistered
  • non-student
  • non-University

Exception:

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)
  • multicampus
  • on-site (hyphenate as adjective or adverb)
  • startup
  • student-athlete
  • tax-deductible
  • turfgrass
  • ultra don’t hyphenate: ultrafine, ultraviolet
  • under don’t hyphenate: underline, underfunded
  • up-to-date
  • Vice President no hyphen
  • website one word
  • workforce, workplace, workstation; but work site is two words
  • X-ray hyphen

 

 

Numbers

 

FIGURES OR WORDS?

In general, use figures for numbers 10 or higher, including ordinal numbers.

  • eighth
  • ninth
  • 10th
  • 11th
  • eight
  • nine
  • 10
  • 11

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

 

ADDRESSES

 

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 10th Street.
     
  • He just moved to 605 Woodside Drive; Woodside Drive is at the top of the mountain.

AGES

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.

BEGINNING SENTENCES

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.

DECADES

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.
2.0

3.5

3.95

IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS

Use figures.
Channel 12 . . . Highway 65 . . . Henry VIII . . . Apollo 12

 

MONEY

For amounts of $1 million or more, use the $ sign and numerals for up to two decimal places.

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.

$2.3-million house

52-cent stamp

For whole dollar amounts (without cents), don’t use decimals or zeroes.

$1 … $20 … $167

 

ORDINAL NUMBERS

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

Use figures.
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

 

TELEPHONE NUMBERS

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.

 

TIMES

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…