I have an information technology terminology which is "rule". each rule consists of a premise, which is the part before the equal sign, and a conclusion, which is the part after the equal sign. Example:

If temperature is low then the weather is cold.

the premise is "temperature is low", while the conclusion is "weather is cold".

My question

I wrote this:

"temperature is low" is the first rule's premise.

should I use a hyphen ("-") between "first" and "rule"?


Absolutely not.

What we are looking at here, is a simple pair of adjective + noun.

Grammatically speaking the same pattern as:

  • green shoes
  • dusty attic
  • last winter
  • ...

Therefore: No, there is no hyphen. Your phrase remains as:

"Temperature is low" is the first rule's premise.

  • I agree. If the O.P. found that wording awkward for some reason, this alternative could be used instead: "temperature is low" is the premise of the first rule. But there's nothing wrong with the original, and, as you say, it should not be hyphenated. – J.R. Dec 29 '14 at 11:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.