When to use hyphens in a Sentence

In grammar, the hyphen is a symbol responsible for joining different words or even parts of words. Hence, it is located between the letters, and no spaces are present. A hyphen can be used in many ways in English grammar, which is highlighted below. 

Add a hyphen towards the end of a line 

Hyphens can be added towards the end of lines. In this manner, a word is divided, since enough space for the entire word was not present in the line. However, in order to do this correctly certain rules need to be followed. They are as follows:

– The word should be divided between syllables. Meaning, that a one-syllable word should not be divided. 

This is an example of the correct use of hyphen: 

“In order to undertake good proofreading, certain approaches are recommended”. 

 Following is an example of incorrect use of a hyphen: 

“After attending the proofreading workshop, it is-

ems that I can edit my papers better”.

Make sure a between syllables is not divided, if it leaves one letter alone or if two letters originate from the line. 

Following are examples of the incorrect way:

– “It is difficult to know if she was a raid of the dark or just seeking sympathy”. 

– “Once we came to know she was trying to gain attention, we simp-

ly started ignoring her”. 

In such cases, it is best to move the words to the next line, which are afraid and simply in this case. 

Make sure that hyphenated compound words are divided at the hyphen. 

The following is an incorrect approach to the hyphen:

“She was relieved to find out that she had gained the innocuous title of pres-

 ident-elect, instead of having to deal with the actual responsibilities”. 

Following is the correct approach to the hyphen:

“ She was relieved to find out that she had gained the innocuous title of president-

 elect rather than having to deal with the actual responsibilities”.


“She was relieved to gain the innocuous title of

 president-elect instead of dealing with the actual responsibilities”.

Make sure that the compound words are divided between the words that form a compound. 

Following is the incorrect way to approach this:

Steve’s birthday is coming up, so Sara bought him an electric cof-ee


The following is the correct way to approach this:

Steve’s birthday is coming up, so Sara bought him an electric coffee-



For Steve’s coming birthday, Sara made sure to buy him an electric


Incorporate a hyphen to claim a word that is spelled out letter by letter. 

For instance, the right way to spell an English word is h-e-l-l-o. 

In order to join words in forming a compound adjective, a hyphen can be used. In this manner, the meaning of the adjectives can be viewed in a separate manner. For instance, cooper-coated wire and a well-stocked cupboard. 

The following is the correct way to approach this:

He was happy with his well-stocked cupboards. (This adverb “well” aims to describe stocked and not the cupboards). 

Sara drove her eight-year-old daughter to school every day. (if the adjectives are mentioned separately, they aim to describe the daughter as an eight, year, old. With hyphens they can be indicated as a single adjective). 

Employ the use of a hyphen in order to avoid the awkward doubling of vowels. 

If the semi-independence did not have a hyphen, it would be written as semiindependence and that would make it awkward. Similarly, pre-eminent without be written as preeminent, and re-elect as reelect. 

Hyphens can be used to prevent the misreading of words. 

Re-collect with a hyphen means to gain. Without a hyphen, the word would have a different meaning. Adding on, the word re-creation means to create again, and the word would have a changed meaning without the hyphen. The same can be claimed about the word Co-respondent

Employ a hyphen to join prefixes in capitulated words. 

 The words include un-American and the word pre-Christmas

A hyphen should be used with prefixes, like all-, self-, ex-, and suffix-elect. 

This includes the words: all-inclusive, self-righteous, governor-elect, and ex-president. 

A hyphen can be used to indict sobbing. 

For instance, “I d-d-didn’t m-mean it.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top