How to use the hyphen ?

There are two main uses of the hyphen:

  • In writing compound words that would be ambiguous, hard to read or excessively long [no-smoking sign and black-cab driver]
  • To indicate that a long word has been broken off at the end of a line (however, this should be avoided if possible)
  • A minor use of the hyphen is:

    To avoid what is called letter collision {de-ice or shell-like] Other uses of hyphen are as follows:

    1. Use a hyphen to divide a word at the end of a line.

    Example: If you are not sure where to hyphen- ate a word, look it up in the dictionary.

    2. Hyphenate a compound adjective when it precedes the word it modifies.

    Examples: fast-moving train, long-distance runner.

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