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I've seen the hyphen (-) used in phrases a lot, for example:

audience-knowing

moves-sometimes

do-gooder

When and why is the hyphen used, and what does it mean when it's used?

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1 Answer 1

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That's a hyphen. They notify the reader that two or more elements in a sentence are linked.

Rule 1. Generally, hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound adjective.

Examples:

an off-campus apartment

state-of-the-art design

When a compound adjective follows a noun, a hyphen is usually not necessary.

Example:

The apartment is off campus.

There are several rules. Have a look at this.

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    Nice first answer! Welcome to ELL!
    – stangdon
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 14:34

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