Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Community » Lounge, The » Homework Help

Hyphens



User avatar
45 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1657
Reviews: 45
Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:44 am
TigersMoon says...



I'm not very good at the grammar specifics. I need help deciding what of these needs hyphens.
1. a flawlessly chosen menu
2. a four cheese sauce
3. a three hour cooking time
4. a recipe that is easy to follow
5. an easy to follow recipe
6. low income
7. a completely amazed visitor
8. worn out

Lots of these I've seen written both ways and I don't know who to believe. If you can help me in anyway, it would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Three ghosts in the lighthouse
  





User avatar
1067 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 112695
Reviews: 1067
Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:26 am
Mea says...



I think this is how you would write it, but don't take my word for it.

1. a flawlessly chosen menu
2. a four-cheese sauce
3. a three-hour cooking time
4. a recipe that is easy to follow
5. an easy-to-follow recipe
6. This one depends on what the sentence is. If you mean "low-income person," then yes, you'd hyphenate it, but if "income" is the main noun, than you wouldn't.
7. a completely amazed visitor
8. Also depends on what the sentence is. "I'm worn out" wouldn't be hyphenated, but I think "my worn-out friend" would be.

I'm not quite certain of all of the rules, but it has to do if you describing another object or if the noun in the phrase is the object. Also, if the words are an adverb describing an adjective, which is in turn describing a noun (this is the case for "flawlessly chosen menu"), than you don't hyphenate it.
We're all stories in the end.

I think of you as a fairy with a green dress and a flower crown and stuff.
-EternalRain

I think you, @Deanie and I are like the Three Book Nerd Musketeers of YWS.
-bluewaterlily
  





User avatar
1220 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 72525
Reviews: 1220
Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:16 pm
View Likes
Kale says...



Meandbooks is correct with the examples. As for the why, it's a bit trickier to explain.

So, you have the basic parts of speech: nouns and pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, and prepositions. Then you have clauses and phrases that act like these basic parts of speech, such as prepositional phrases, adjective phrases, and adverb phrases. There are also verb phrases and noun phrases, but those don't matter so much when it comes to hyphenation.

So, basically you hyphenate words when they act as a singular adjective phrase immediately before a noun. However, you don't hyphenate adjective phrases that come after a noun. That is why "a recipe that is easy to follow" isn't hyphenated while "an easy-to-follow recipe" is.

Hyphenation basically exists to help clarify that the entire adjective phrase is acting as a modifier for the noun that follows it. In the case where you have an adjective phrase following a noun, which is always after a form of "is" in English, the hyphens aren't necessary because it's clear that the entire phrase is modifying the subject of the sentence because it's in the predicate.

If you wanted to get really silly with playing around with the grammar, you can invert the subject and object: "easy to follow is a recipe". It's still grammatically correct, and the hyphenation rules still apply, even though the phrase doesn't come after the noun in this case.

If it helps, you can think of the forms of "is" as an equal sign. There's no hyphenation on either side of the equal sign. So, "easy to follow = recipe" is the same as "recipe = easy to follow".

As for why #1 and #7 aren't hyphenated: they contain adverbs, and adverbs aren't part of the adjective phrase; they modify the adjective phrase. Basically, in #1, the adjective phrase is "chosen" and "flawlessly" is the adverb telling us in what manner "chosen" occurred.

/end of long explanation
Secretly a Kyllorac, sometimes a Murtle.
There are no chickens in Hyrule.
Princessence: A LMS Project
WRFF | KotGR
  





User avatar
45 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1657
Reviews: 45
Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:12 am
TigersMoon says...



Thank you so much.
Three ghosts in the lighthouse
  








You can't blame the writer for what the characters say.
— Truman Capote