8

Should I use suspended hyphen in the example below like 10-to 15-year-olds?

The time spend by 10 to 15-year-olds on two activities.

  • 2
    If you could provide a link to one or more uses of such punctuation as 10 to 15-year-olds that would be helpful. Hyphenation usage is always changing. – Alan Carmack Nov 3 '16 at 15:20
21

Yes, the hyphen should follow 10. In addition, a space should follow this hyphen, indicating that 10- is attached to year-..., not to to:

...the time spent by 10- to 15-year-olds on two activities

Note that spent, the past participle of spend, is employed as an attributive.

  • yes, I just misspelled it,... the next thing I want to make sure, should this rule, suspended hypens, be necessarily followed in academic writing ? because in some samples I have seen such phrases be used with hypens following only 15- and years- , "like "10 to 15-year-olds" – Cavid Hummatov Nov 3 '16 at 14:31
  • 3
    @CavidHummatov Yes, do follow the "rule"; it is a typographic device which helps the reader parse your meaning. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 3 '16 at 15:11

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