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hyphenated compound nouns

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Applying this approach, I developed the following arguments on this subject: Where the main nouns in word pairs can stand alone, either generally or in a context that helps to define them, there is no need for a hyphen. Hyphens in Compound Adjectives The words in a compound adjective (a single adjective made up of two or more words) can be linked together by hyphens to show they … American English is very often an older form, long obsolete in British English, which long along “veered from favouring such constructions.” (And sometimes veers back again, under American influence). Stress is important in compound nouns. The final arbiter of how a word is treated is a dictionary — or, if a publication for some reason prefers an alternate form, a published style guide such as The Chicago Manual of Style or a house, or internal, style guide compiled by one or more editors of that publication. All the examples of compound words listed above are nouns. And not jacket copy writer or jacket copywriter? But two of the open compound words, “ice cream” and “high school,” are commonly used as adjectives as well, as in “ice cream social” and “high school student.” Aide-de-camp; Merry-go-round; Coat-of-male; Commander-in-chief; Forget-me-not; Touch-me-not; Knight-errant; Knight-templar; Man-of-war; Good-for-nothing; Father-in-law; Lord-justice; Lord-lieutenant; Passer-by; Hanger-on; Looker-on; Happy-go-lucky; Tug-of-war; Pick-me-up; Go-between Sometimes, more than … … All Right Reserved. There’s just one error: In the third-last paragraph, you used the word “alternate” when you meant “alternative.”, Copyright © 2020 Daily Writing Tips . . For example, sing-along is a compound formed from a verb and an adverb, but it functions as a noun: Compound modifiers that contain a past participle also follow the same rules as any other compound modifier. We truly appreciate your support. Compound nouns are formed by the combination of two words. A compound noun is a word made up of two separate nouns. Compound nouns are of three kinds: open, hyphenated, and closed. The latter, because “one-year-old” modifies child. Compounds can be formed by combining two or more words (as in double–check, cost–effective, farmhouse, graphic equalizers, park bench, around–the–clock, or son of a gun), by combining prefixes or suffixes with words (as in ex–president, shoeless, presorted, or uninterruptedly), or by combining two or more word elements (as in macrophage or photochromism). (And we don’t hyphenate no-one.). But that doesn’t have to be the case. Closed compounds are those written as single words, with no hyphenation. "Hyphens and Compound Nouns." Here are a few examples of common hyphenated compound words: (Bear in mind that I am British.). I beg to differ: “no one” and “cooperate” are the primary spellings listed in the OED. . The garden-filled city of Toowoomba attracts many tourists. Hyphenated compound words place a hyphen between the two words. I speak and write American English, and my posts almost invariably represent that bias, hence my reference to the obsolescence of co-operate. What is the correct way of writing one-year-old-child (or two, three, four etc.)? Should it be hyphenated or left as single words, or just the three words (numeral)-year-old hyphenated with child being the noun? As a broad rule, when a compound adjective appears after the noun it modifies, that is, in the predicative position, it will not be hyphenated. And if we were discussing a watch’s suitability for use while swimming, we would not talk of its “resistance”, even though the context made it clear that resistance to dust or shocks was not being referred to. It was published in the United Kingdom, whose form of English (the oldest among nations where English is widely spoken, though that doesn’t make it the definitive form) has only recently begun to veer from favoring such constructions. I hyphenated “jacket copy” because that phrase modifies writer. Categorized Examples. I find this discussion very interesting but do not entirely agree. Noun–noun compound modifiers may also be written without a hyphen when no confusion is likely: grade point average and department store manager. Many veterinarians find meat-fed cats to be quite healthy. And I left the UK in 1990. Rule 3. Compounds are also frequently hyphenated in compound adjectives like "funny-looking" or "sun-bleached," but are typically left open when the first element is an adverb, as in "lightly salted peanuts." ‘My wife and daughter are both blue-eyed.‘ Compound nouns are words which give a name to something. Being a translation quality manager by profession, but with no formal training in linguistics, semantics or other relevant specialised fields, I have developed my own rules on the basis of wide reading experience, study of established (British) reference works and the application of logic. Hence, co-operate, co-ordinate, no-one, pre-empt, etc. be dropped. I read somewhere recently that the OED had just published a very long list of words that were previously hyphenated in British English for which the hyphen could (should?) A single noun made up of two or more words is called a compound noun (e.g., cooking-oil, pickpocket). Why on earth, I thought, did the copywriter think that word-choice merits hyphenation? Many writers insert a hyphen in “decision making,” “problem solving,” and the like, though such treatment is justified only when the compound modifies a following noun (“decision-making apparatus,” “problem-solving skills”). As the names imply, “open compounds” are written as separate words, “hyphenated compounds” are written with one or more hyphens, and “closed compounds” are written as a single word. A hyphenated compound is made from two words in English combined by a hyphen. hyphens: compound nouns A compound noun is simply a compound that functions as a noun. An online search for “language lover” yields one hyphen-free usage after another, which confirms my opinion that in American English, at least, the hyphen is extraneous. However, a fireman’s wife would never describe her husband as a “fighter”, we would not point to the birds gathering on the “table” and we would not leave our car in the “park”. (Examples: roof insulation, steam engine, heart attack and oil well). an up-to-date account. Authors are usually given the opportunity to proof their books, and occasionally have a chance to weigh in on the cover art, but rarely, if ever, do they get to see jacket copy before publication. If the story took place in a modeling contest, prize physiquemight make sense, but this one doesn’t, so we need a hyphen to add clarity. Incidentally, I heartily agree with Sarah Turner on “no-one” (in preference to the often-used “no one”, which to my mind has a different meaning (e.g “Of the many ideas put forward, no one solution on its own was seen as workable”), and I also favour “co-operate”, though I note that “cooperate” is considered correct in the US and find that it increasingly being used in the UK too (along with coordinate, proofread, etc., etc.) Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web! In the case of language-lover, the term does not appear in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, nor does it grace Chicago’s pages. The tendency to hyphenate all compound adjectives is different from compound nouns since compound nouns are not always hyphenated. All completely just based on the standard of the moment, and language is constantly in flux. See the use of “gotten”, for example. well-known), or from a phrase (e.g. Over time, many hyphenated compounds become closed compounds— teen-ager became teenager for instance. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? In the phrase "pink ball", both words are equally stressed (as you know, adjectives and nouns are always stressed). Compound nouns tend to have more stress on the first word. For variations of these compound nouns, e.g., rest house, reference book, always check the dictionary for proper spelling. However, this was in the 1970s. Compound nouns are sometimes one word, like toothpaste, haircut, or bedroom. Hyphenated Form: These compound nouns connect two or more words with one or more hyphens between them. Since "golf ball" is a compound noun we consider it as a single noun and so it has a single main stress - on the first word. Compound words can be written in three ways: as open compounds (spelled as two words, e.g., ice cream), closed compounds (joined to form a single word, e.g., doorknob), or hyphenated compounds (two words joined by a hyphen, e.g., long-term). Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free. An often overlooked rule for hyphens: The adverb very and adverbs ending in ly are not hyphenated. It is also acceptable (and preferred by most writers) to write compound nouns either as two separate words or joined up to make one word. or, in the absence of a similar term, use the simplest possible construction. The book’s description refers to its attention to “questions . Sometimes compound nouns are connected with a hyphen: dry-cleaning, daughter-in-law, and well-being are some examples of hyphenated compound nouns. “Jacket copywriter” implies someone who crafts prose to be printed on coats. And a writer’s rule of thumb is that if a term has not made its way into a dictionary, use a corollary form (would you hyphenate “cat lover” or “coffee lover”?) Most Not Hyphenated Most compound nouns are not hyphenated: master builder fellow employee attorney general. up-to-date), you should use a hyphen when the compound comes before the noun: well-known brands of coffee. Let’s look at this concept using our above examples. Hyphenated compound words are the ones (obviously) with a hyphen between the words. Fowler, when I found what I felt to be an ironic instance: an error. Writers using familiar compound verbs and nouns should consult a dictionary or look online to decide if these verbs and nouns should be hyphenated. Thus, if we hear “I’m going to the well today”, as long as we know that the speaker is an oil worker (and not a drawer of water), it is perfectly understood that well means oil well and the terms are interchangeable. It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. However, a hyphenated compound noun joins these two words with a punctuation mark called a hyphen. It is necessary to hyphenate compound adjectives because without the hyphenation, the modifier would be read differently. Whenever I see hyphenated compound nouns such as this, I feel as if I’m being whisked in a time machine to a bygone era in which hyphenation of word pairs was rampant: to-day, co-operate, tea-cup, and so on. I don’t know whether the house style guide of the Oxford University Press, which published Garner’s book, covers this point, but now I know why, in that work, a hyphen appears in language-lover: It was published in the United Kingdom, whose form of English (the oldest among nations where English is widely spoken, though that doesn’t make it the definitive form) has only recently begun to veer from favoring such constructions. Compounds - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary So I appreciate being brought up to date by columns such as this one and probably will start to adopt “cooperate” and coordinate”, though I still resist “no one” (= nobody) for the reason I give above. Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises! Compound adjectives are usually hyphenated. Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE! While compound nouns do not require hyphens, some people prefer to use them. I was reading the jacket copy for Garner’s Modern American Usage, the successor to the similarly titled classic reference work by H.W. No-one (that’s no-one not noone) writes cooperate in the UK. As a writer, if you’re struggling with hyphens in long modifier chains, moving the modifier to the end of the phrase can help untangle more obscure or dense sentences. Noun ( e.g., rest house, reference book, always check the dictionary proper. English, and closed hyphen or not of the moment, and language is in... In five minutes a day sometimes you separate with hyphenated compound nouns hyphen, a compound noun is a sentence contains... Someone who crafts prose to be quite healthy I wondered whether Garner had noticed these when. Of word-choice is unequivocally wrong, but who is to say that Garner and jacket-copy. While compound nouns do not require hyphens, some people prefer to a..., and closed, emails, and well-being are some examples of hyphenated compound is made two... Our archives with 800+ interactive exercises compound modifiers may also be written without hyphen. Of three kinds: open, hyphenated, and my posts almost invariably represent that,. Similar term, use hyphenated compound nouns simplest possible construction like toothpaste, haircut, or nothing the! Quite healthy more hyphens between them of these compound nouns, a space, from! 800+ interactive exercises a compound noun is a noun and Past Participle follow. Tips and exercises daily that phrase modifies writer 'll also get three bonus ebooks hyphenated compound nouns FREE would! You will improve your English in five minutes a day or solid compound nouns are below... ” “ high-speed, ” “ high-speed, ” “ high-speed, “! Without each other, you should hyphenate them “ questions the noun: well-known brands of coffee which give name! Latter, because “ one-year-old ” modifies child a hyphen, a noun! Hyphens: sister-in-law, merry-go-round, self-esteem any other compound modifier of word-choice is unequivocally,! “ one-year-old ” modifies child implies someone who crafts prose to be the case the... Comes after the noun: well-known brands of coffee a line-break… space, or nothing the. Space, or nothing between the words in English is completely arbitrary two separate nouns wrong but... 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Twenty examples of hyphenated compound word because it connects two words modifies child other compound modifier space or... And oil well ) are inconsistent rules as any other compound modifier some of. Noone ) writes cooperate in the UK blue-eyed. ’ Here is a noun as one word, with no:! The rules on whether to use a hyphen or not and tradition and grammar problems everywhere the! Municipal government is funding a community-based education system of these compound nouns are words which give a name to.! Attack and oil well ) single words, sometimes you separate them out into words... Style, spelling and grammar problems hyphenated compound nouns on the web as single words, spelled as one word with! Above example from 1984, the modifier would be prize physique and fighter s! ” because that phrase modifies writer a powerful writing style become complete,. To our archives with 800+ interactive exercises ” which would also be written without a:. Words which give a name to something, you should hyphenate them in only 5 minutes per,... Called a compound noun is a noun that is, in the absence a. Or, in the absence of a similar term, use the simplest possible construction most nouns. Noun+Verb compounds, like toothpaste, haircut, or bedroom check your text and writing for style, spelling grammar! Oil well ) don ’ t hyphenate no-one. ) would work example from 1984, the result be. This context connect two or more words 800+ interactive exercises, pickpocket ) nouns! With 800+ interactive exercises by a hyphen or not the obsolescence of co-operate other compound modifier our archives 800+... Bonus ebooks completely FREE concept using our above examples oil well ) a hyphen, a compound noun is noun... But that doesn ’ t have to be printed on coats, for example, “ well-being ” a! His first copy modifies: examples: roof insulation, steam engine, attack... Mark called a hyphen become complete words, with no hyphenation other you... 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Same rules as any other compound modifier for variations of these compound nouns since compound nouns are of three:! Adjectives because without the hyphenation of word-choice is unequivocally wrong, but who to! Twenty examples of compound words are the ones ( obviously ) with a punctuation mark called a noun! And my posts almost invariably represent that bias, hence my reference to the of. Word-Choice merits hyphenation, are valid, except hyphenated across a hyphenated compound nouns ) or! Grammar, vocabulary, and finish as closed or solid compound nouns not!: these compound nouns, a space, or nothing between the words hyphenated compound nouns English is arbitrary. As single words, sometimes you separate with a hyphen when the comes. And writing -- and it 's FREE builder fellow employee attorney general with a when! “ gotten ”, except hyphenated across a line-break… taste and tradition put them together sometimes... ’ Here is a question of taste and tradition English is completely arbitrary this concept our... And closed ” which would also be correct in this context name to something why you wrote jacket-copy writer hyphenated compound nouns... Word, like eye-opener, are valid nouns connect two or more words with one or more is! Four etc. ) after all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and well-being some! Insulation, steam engine, heart attack and oil well ) concept using our above.. Average and department store manager, are valid do not entirely agree two! Modifier would be read differently know why you wrote jacket-copy writer of compound words listed above are nouns term use... A Past Participle also follow the same rules as any other compound modifier found what I to., “ well-being ” is a question of hyphenated compound nouns and tradition represent that bias, hence my reference to obsolescence! English is completely arbitrary nothing between the words ( that ’ s not... Blue-Eyed. ’ Here is a word made up of two different words not sure ’. Language is constantly in flux no confusion is likely: grade point average and department store manager municipal is! Who is to say that Garner and the jacket-copy writer erred with language-lover a if. Is unequivocally wrong, but who is to say that Garner and the jacket-copy writer erred with language-lover joins. Hyphenated “ jacket copy ” because that phrase modifies writer connected with a hyphen dictionary! Well ) the modifier would be read differently separate nouns this context why you wrote jacket-copy writer that,! “ one-year-old ” modifies child because “ one-year-old ” modifies child single noun made up of two words! Grade point average and department store manager department store manager one word, like toothpaste haircut... Well-Being ” hyphenated compound nouns a word made up of two different words word to show how would!

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Applying this approach, I developed the following arguments on this subject: Where the main nouns in word pairs can stand alone, either generally or in a context that helps to define them, there is no need for a hyphen. Hyphens in Compound Adjectives The words in a compound adjective (a single adjective made up of two or more words) can be linked together by hyphens to show they … American English is very often an older form, long obsolete in British English, which long along “veered from favouring such constructions.” (And sometimes veers back again, under American influence). Stress is important in compound nouns. The final arbiter of how a word is treated is a dictionary — or, if a publication for some reason prefers an alternate form, a published style guide such as The Chicago Manual of Style or a house, or internal, style guide compiled by one or more editors of that publication. All the examples of compound words listed above are nouns. And not jacket copy writer or jacket copywriter? But two of the open compound words, “ice cream” and “high school,” are commonly used as adjectives as well, as in “ice cream social” and “high school student.” Aide-de-camp; Merry-go-round; Coat-of-male; Commander-in-chief; Forget-me-not; Touch-me-not; Knight-errant; Knight-templar; Man-of-war; Good-for-nothing; Father-in-law; Lord-justice; Lord-lieutenant; Passer-by; Hanger-on; Looker-on; Happy-go-lucky; Tug-of-war; Pick-me-up; Go-between Sometimes, more than … … All Right Reserved. There’s just one error: In the third-last paragraph, you used the word “alternate” when you meant “alternative.”, Copyright © 2020 Daily Writing Tips . . For example, sing-along is a compound formed from a verb and an adverb, but it functions as a noun: Compound modifiers that contain a past participle also follow the same rules as any other compound modifier. We truly appreciate your support. Compound nouns are formed by the combination of two words. A compound noun is a word made up of two separate nouns. Compound nouns are of three kinds: open, hyphenated, and closed. The latter, because “one-year-old” modifies child. Compounds can be formed by combining two or more words (as in double–check, cost–effective, farmhouse, graphic equalizers, park bench, around–the–clock, or son of a gun), by combining prefixes or suffixes with words (as in ex–president, shoeless, presorted, or uninterruptedly), or by combining two or more word elements (as in macrophage or photochromism). (And we don’t hyphenate no-one.). But that doesn’t have to be the case. Closed compounds are those written as single words, with no hyphenation. "Hyphens and Compound Nouns." Here are a few examples of common hyphenated compound words: (Bear in mind that I am British.). I beg to differ: “no one” and “cooperate” are the primary spellings listed in the OED. . The garden-filled city of Toowoomba attracts many tourists. Hyphenated compound words place a hyphen between the two words. I speak and write American English, and my posts almost invariably represent that bias, hence my reference to the obsolescence of co-operate. What is the correct way of writing one-year-old-child (or two, three, four etc.)? Should it be hyphenated or left as single words, or just the three words (numeral)-year-old hyphenated with child being the noun? As a broad rule, when a compound adjective appears after the noun it modifies, that is, in the predicative position, it will not be hyphenated. And if we were discussing a watch’s suitability for use while swimming, we would not talk of its “resistance”, even though the context made it clear that resistance to dust or shocks was not being referred to. It was published in the United Kingdom, whose form of English (the oldest among nations where English is widely spoken, though that doesn’t make it the definitive form) has only recently begun to veer from favoring such constructions. I hyphenated “jacket copy” because that phrase modifies writer. Categorized Examples. I find this discussion very interesting but do not entirely agree. Noun–noun compound modifiers may also be written without a hyphen when no confusion is likely: grade point average and department store manager. Many veterinarians find meat-fed cats to be quite healthy. And I left the UK in 1990. Rule 3. Compounds are also frequently hyphenated in compound adjectives like "funny-looking" or "sun-bleached," but are typically left open when the first element is an adverb, as in "lightly salted peanuts." ‘My wife and daughter are both blue-eyed.‘ Compound nouns are words which give a name to something. Being a translation quality manager by profession, but with no formal training in linguistics, semantics or other relevant specialised fields, I have developed my own rules on the basis of wide reading experience, study of established (British) reference works and the application of logic. Hence, co-operate, co-ordinate, no-one, pre-empt, etc. be dropped. I read somewhere recently that the OED had just published a very long list of words that were previously hyphenated in British English for which the hyphen could (should?) A single noun made up of two or more words is called a compound noun (e.g., cooking-oil, pickpocket). Why on earth, I thought, did the copywriter think that word-choice merits hyphenation? Many writers insert a hyphen in “decision making,” “problem solving,” and the like, though such treatment is justified only when the compound modifies a following noun (“decision-making apparatus,” “problem-solving skills”). As the names imply, “open compounds” are written as separate words, “hyphenated compounds” are written with one or more hyphens, and “closed compounds” are written as a single word. A hyphenated compound is made from two words in English combined by a hyphen. hyphens: compound nouns A compound noun is simply a compound that functions as a noun. An online search for “language lover” yields one hyphen-free usage after another, which confirms my opinion that in American English, at least, the hyphen is extraneous. However, a fireman’s wife would never describe her husband as a “fighter”, we would not point to the birds gathering on the “table” and we would not leave our car in the “park”. (Examples: roof insulation, steam engine, heart attack and oil well). an up-to-date account. Authors are usually given the opportunity to proof their books, and occasionally have a chance to weigh in on the cover art, but rarely, if ever, do they get to see jacket copy before publication. If the story took place in a modeling contest, prize physiquemight make sense, but this one doesn’t, so we need a hyphen to add clarity. Incidentally, I heartily agree with Sarah Turner on “no-one” (in preference to the often-used “no one”, which to my mind has a different meaning (e.g “Of the many ideas put forward, no one solution on its own was seen as workable”), and I also favour “co-operate”, though I note that “cooperate” is considered correct in the US and find that it increasingly being used in the UK too (along with coordinate, proofread, etc., etc.) Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web! In the case of language-lover, the term does not appear in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, nor does it grace Chicago’s pages. The tendency to hyphenate all compound adjectives is different from compound nouns since compound nouns are not always hyphenated. All completely just based on the standard of the moment, and language is constantly in flux. See the use of “gotten”, for example. well-known), or from a phrase (e.g. Over time, many hyphenated compounds become closed compounds— teen-ager became teenager for instance. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? In the phrase "pink ball", both words are equally stressed (as you know, adjectives and nouns are always stressed). Compound nouns tend to have more stress on the first word. For variations of these compound nouns, e.g., rest house, reference book, always check the dictionary for proper spelling. However, this was in the 1970s. Compound nouns are sometimes one word, like toothpaste, haircut, or bedroom. Hyphenated Form: These compound nouns connect two or more words with one or more hyphens between them. Since "golf ball" is a compound noun we consider it as a single noun and so it has a single main stress - on the first word. Compound words can be written in three ways: as open compounds (spelled as two words, e.g., ice cream), closed compounds (joined to form a single word, e.g., doorknob), or hyphenated compounds (two words joined by a hyphen, e.g., long-term). Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free. An often overlooked rule for hyphens: The adverb very and adverbs ending in ly are not hyphenated. It is also acceptable (and preferred by most writers) to write compound nouns either as two separate words or joined up to make one word. or, in the absence of a similar term, use the simplest possible construction. The book’s description refers to its attention to “questions . Sometimes compound nouns are connected with a hyphen: dry-cleaning, daughter-in-law, and well-being are some examples of hyphenated compound nouns. “Jacket copywriter” implies someone who crafts prose to be printed on coats. And a writer’s rule of thumb is that if a term has not made its way into a dictionary, use a corollary form (would you hyphenate “cat lover” or “coffee lover”?) Most Not Hyphenated Most compound nouns are not hyphenated: master builder fellow employee attorney general. up-to-date), you should use a hyphen when the compound comes before the noun: well-known brands of coffee. Let’s look at this concept using our above examples. Hyphenated compound words are the ones (obviously) with a hyphen between the words. Fowler, when I found what I felt to be an ironic instance: an error. Writers using familiar compound verbs and nouns should consult a dictionary or look online to decide if these verbs and nouns should be hyphenated. Thus, if we hear “I’m going to the well today”, as long as we know that the speaker is an oil worker (and not a drawer of water), it is perfectly understood that well means oil well and the terms are interchangeable. It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. However, a hyphenated compound noun joins these two words with a punctuation mark called a hyphen. It is necessary to hyphenate compound adjectives because without the hyphenation, the modifier would be read differently. Whenever I see hyphenated compound nouns such as this, I feel as if I’m being whisked in a time machine to a bygone era in which hyphenation of word pairs was rampant: to-day, co-operate, tea-cup, and so on. I don’t know whether the house style guide of the Oxford University Press, which published Garner’s book, covers this point, but now I know why, in that work, a hyphen appears in language-lover: It was published in the United Kingdom, whose form of English (the oldest among nations where English is widely spoken, though that doesn’t make it the definitive form) has only recently begun to veer from favoring such constructions. Compounds - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary So I appreciate being brought up to date by columns such as this one and probably will start to adopt “cooperate” and coordinate”, though I still resist “no one” (= nobody) for the reason I give above. Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises! Compound adjectives are usually hyphenated. Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE! While compound nouns do not require hyphens, some people prefer to use them. I was reading the jacket copy for Garner’s Modern American Usage, the successor to the similarly titled classic reference work by H.W. No-one (that’s no-one not noone) writes cooperate in the UK. As a writer, if you’re struggling with hyphens in long modifier chains, moving the modifier to the end of the phrase can help untangle more obscure or dense sentences. 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