The correct use of hyphens is often overlooked. It is worth the time to teach your students some of the common ways in which hyphens are used.
Hyphens are used:
- for the compound numbers twenty-one to ninety-nine.
- in a compound adjective that comes before a noun. For example, “I think that is a made-up word.”
- in compounds consisting of prefixes joined to proper nouns. For example, “Our school year begins in mid-August.”
- to separate the numerator from the denominator in a fraction. For example, “More than “one-half” of the class voted to have a pizza party.”
- to avoid confusion. For example, “He is a French-speaking student” refers to a student who speaks French, not to a student from France who speaks.