Many people interchangeably use hyphens and dashes. Hyphens are shorter and are used for specific purposes. Dashes set off a thought or are used for emphasis. The most common dash use is an Em Dash which is longer. “I thought to myself — do I really need this?”
Hyphens basically connect two adjectives that modify a noun. They are used when one word does not work on its own, and it pairs it with the next word to make a new word/phrase. These appear before the noun. E.g.,
A two-story building. (two stories describe the building.)
The above describes a Compound Adjectives – hyphenate two or more words to modify the noun following it.
When compound adjectives follow a noun, a hyphen is unnecessary.
The building has two stories. (The noun is building; two stories describe it.)
The author is well known. (well known follows the noun, author.)
However, some established compound adjectives are always hyphenated. You can check a dictionary or style guide for these.
The building design is state-of-the-art.
Sometimes hyphens are used to create new verb phrases or for fun.
Matthew video-gamed through his twenties.
Matthew test-drives every car he likes.
Adverbs, however, do not require hyphens. Adverbs modify verbs, not nouns.
He is a classically trained pianist. The adverb, classically, describes how he is trained.
Hyphenate spans of time, distance, or number quantities. In Word, select: Insert, Symbols, Special Characters. You will see the en and em dash characters.
(span of time) Young voters were active especially in 2015-2018.
(number quantities) There were about 150-200 people in attendance.
(time) The meeting is held between 1:15-3:30 p.m.
#fresheyesreadingllc #copyediting #copywriting #thepoochwriter