|You may have seen this before, but it's a great|
collection of pack bookshelves
1. Use a hyphen when two words are joined to be a single adjective before a noun.
I like jelly-filled donuts.
Micheal has sky-blue eyes.
Sunny Smith likes packed-full bookshelves.
BUT if the adjectives are after the noun, you don't hyphenate them.
The donuts were jelly filled.
Micheal's eyes are sky blue.
Sunny Smith likes bookshelves that are packed full.
2. Use a hyphen to compound numbers.
3. Use the hyphen to get rid of confusing or awkward letter combinations:
Re-sign the letter (vs. resign from a job)
4. Use the hyphen to separate the prefixes ex-, self-, and all- from the root word. Use a hyphen to separate the root word from the suffix "elect". Use the hyphen between a prefix and a capitalized word, as well as between and numbers/letters.
Pre-World War II
5. Use the hyphen for end of line breaks. Only separate the word at syllable breaks.
BUT if the word already has a hyphen in it, do the line break only at the hyphen.
AND if the word ends in -ing, split the word before the -ing, unless there is double consonant (because you added -ing), then hyphenate between the double consonant.
AND never put the first or last letter of a word at the beginning of a line. Don't put two-letter suffixes at the beginning of a new line either.
Bad examples: Good Examples:
Quick- Quickly (move whole word to new line)
There you go, how to use a hyphen. Hopefully this has helped you some, and if you have any questions or disagreements, don't hesitate to comment with them. Another question for the comments: How often do you use a hyphen when writing?
What I'm reading: Why We Write by Meredith Maran
What I'm listening to: "Moving Mountains" by Thrice
What I'm watching: Doctor Who (2005)
P.S. To give credit where credit is due, I used a paper handed out in class to write this post. It says the contributors are Sean Conrey and Karl Stolley.