Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Great tips & advice - The Humble Hyphen

As writers we're always looking for advice right?  The Australian writers centre – is great resource for keeping in touch with what courses are available to help with your writing skills, along with heaps of writing tips and advice.

The latest tip offered was about the humble hyphen and how it can play a crucial role in your writing, if you understand how to use it properly. The problem is many writers don’t know how to use them, so here are a few tips offered by the writer's centre to help you on your way.

You use a hyphen when two or more words are joined to form an adjective that appears before a noun or pronoun. For example:

She has a three-year-old son.
This is a well-written book.


If the adjective comes after the noun or pronoun it’s describing, you don’t use the hyphen. So:

Her son is three years old.
This book is well written.


You also use a hyphen if you’re adding a prefix to another word, such as re-enrol, neo-Gothic or ex-girlfriend.

Some style guides suggest a restrained approach to the hyphen and would encourage leaving it out if you’re confident that it won't confuse your reader. 

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