What method I should follow when combining prefix and word? I am especially interested in the word "mis-modeling/mismodeling". Some authors use the 1st form and some use the 2nd form.

I am aware of the closed question which refers to the related grammar. If I understand the text well, the form "mis-modeling" should be used (section 'Hyphens joining prefixes to other words'). However, the fact that I found both forms in proof-read articles confuses me. So I would like to ask:

  • Is there any preferred form or both forms are possible?
  • Is "mis-modeling/mismodeling" an English word at all?
  • 2
    Mis- is a prefix rather than a word, so your question isn't about joining two words. By the way, modeling is typically spelled with one L in American English and two L's in British English.
    – user230
    Mar 5, 2014 at 12:11
  • @snailplane If they spell the word differently, does it mean that they also pronounce (I mean stress) the word differently too? Mar 5, 2014 at 12:17
  • @snailplane thx, I will change the question accordingly
    – MasterPJ
    Mar 5, 2014 at 12:19
  • @DamkerngT. This particular spelling difference (like many) has its roots in Noah Webster's spelling reforms. It was intended to simplify spelling and does not reflect a difference in pronunciation.
    – user230
    Mar 5, 2014 at 12:20
  • @snailplane Thank you, especially for letting me know about the spelling reforms! Mar 5, 2014 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


If possible, avoid hyphen with prefix (except for self- and post-). However, if the word looks too clumsy, to avoid ambiguity, we use hyphen.

Having said, in your case, I'd prefer mismodeling. Also, prefix with mis generally does not take hyphen.

Please note that in some cases, you must use hyphen with prefix as in with proper noun (ex-president)

Very good information here that shows other examples and rules.

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