For good measure, I looked in at the American section of OxfordDictionaries.com where I found this directive: With compound adjectives formed from the adverb well and a participle (e.g., well-known), or from a phrase (e.g., up-to-date), you should use a hyphen (or hyphens) when the compound comes before the noun: well-known brands of coffee; to overreact. You’ll know that, unless you’re British, you don’t. it’s a question I’m sometimes asked as a book editor. Adjectives are often preceded by adverbs like "very," "well," "beautifully," and "extremely." I read an article that included this sentence: “Smith did his best during a nationally-broadcast … The University of Iowa writing site concurs: Compound adjectives beginning with “well” are hyphenated no matter where they are in the sentence. If the adverb and adjective follow the noun instead of … The watch was beautifully gift-wrapped by the shop person, at no extra charge. It is a sign of declining education that ambiguity is possible in the sequence of “adverb adjective noun.” The presence of the hyphen only confirms that decline. When the compound follows the noun or pronoun and contains a present participle, do not hyphenate if the participle has a verbal function, but hyphenate if it is adjectival in nature: The narrative is fast-moving. RULE 5: HYPHENATING TO TELL AGE. The basic rule is that a descriptive phrase consisting of an adverb and an adjective is not usually hyphenated. I noticed two middle-aged passengers. The reason my countrymen get confused about issues like this is because sometimes we read books and articles by writers from Great Britain, so our eyes get used to seeing things sometimes written “the wrong way” – not really wrong, of course, but wrong from the perspective of the style rules for American English. Hyphen With a Noun, Adjective Or Adverb and a Present Participle When we combine a noun or adjective and a present participle (a word ending in ‑ing) to form a unit of meaning that describes another word, use a hyphen to make that unit of meaning clear. Punctuation rules are hard to grasp. The answer to the question of when to hyphenate relates to whether the adjective phrase is used before or after the noun. The *full* entry for this topic in Chicago 7.81 says: When compound modifiers (also called phrasal adjectives) such as open-mouthed or full-length precede a noun, hyphenation usually lends clarity. The answer is, when you live in England. But there are times when a “ly” adverb does need a hyphen. Since up-to-date follows the same hyphenation rules as another adjective phrase, over-the-counter, you can use this rule to remember the proper way to use up-to-date. The man is well. Students will ideally be placed in schools in paired groups. When a non-“-ly” adverb is used in a compound adjective preceding a noun it modifies, link them with a hyphen: The well-written novel is a bestseller. Break in: She wants to break in her new shoes before the dance.. Drop off: He will drop off the check tomorrow afternoon.. Adverbs ending in -ly should not be hyphenated.. If you are unsure whether the combo needs a hyphen, refer to a renowned dictionary. Compounds formed by an adverb ending in ly plus an adjective or participle (such as largely irrelevant or smartly dressed) are not hyphenated either before or after a noun, since ambiguity is virtually impossible. overboard. But here it is in a different construction: Compound adjective: It is an only-child situation. As for writing salary based vs salary-based I could’ve written either way, till now, without giving it a thought. Adverb + Verb It’s *possible* for “only” to be ambiguous, because the same word is both an adjective and an adverb. The adverb itself isn’t taking a hyphen, but the whole phrase “not-so-sharply-worded” is a gigantic adjective. Don’t hyphenate adverbs. Compound modifiers describe the noun that follows with greater precision. The adverb very has already received special mention in the rule from the AP Stylebook: Very is never followed by a hyphen. (Remember: adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs and answer the question ‘How?’) The highly contagious virus spread rapidly. (adjectival) But hyphens don't always come after an adverb and adjective. I suffer daily through the pages of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which has either thrown out the stylebook or laid off the copyeditors. Siva. . “only begotten Son”—Some punctilious editors insert a hyphen between “only” and “begotten” in the phrase “only begotten Son,” arguing that it is a compound adjective. I keep seeing the likes of “newly-minted doctor” or “visually-impaired cat” regularly these days and it makes me crazy! Not all words ending in –ly are adverbs and they can often be used to create compound adjectives like those discussed in Rule 1. Most of us know the rule “Do not hyphenate an ‘-ly’ word.” This rule perhaps need a little more definition. What Is a Hyphen? When a modifier that would be hyphenated before a noun comes after a form of the verb “to be,” you usually keep the hyphen to avoid confusion. We performed bad/badly. Or is it the general lack of editors and grammatical knowledge? “Only” is *not* an adjective in “only-begotten son.” In this case, “only” has its original meaning: “one-ly.” Thus, “only-begotten” means “singly begotten.” The reason the word is hyphenated is because it is a direct translation of the single Greek word “monogenes.”. He passed the only course. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. We have 20 part-time members of staff . For example: I have sent you a three-page summary. Note that hyphens can be used correctly after a word ending in "-ly" that is not an adverb: So you wouldn’t write, for example, “The man is sharply-dressed” or “The sharply-dressed man walked by the window.” Hyphens before capitals That’s what adverbs do. Thus we get sentences such as : He only passed the course. highly regarded). Copyright © 2020 Daily Writing Tips . Most compound nouns don’t need hyphens because people already understand what the words mean together. See the difference? Here, the hyphenation makes it obvious that the noun that’s being modified is “begotten son.”, 2) Adverb: I have an [only begotten] son. Anon, My mother’s anniversary is fast approaching and I intend to gift-wrap her present. They modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. “Near” is not an adverb, or if people have been using it as an adverb, that usage should be deprecated! 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