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Hyphens, Dashes, and Parentheses


P. 275

Use a hyphen to divide a word at the end of a line. Only words with more than one syllable can be divided. Do not leave a single letter at the beginning or the end of a line. Longer words can be divided in more than one place.

Elec-tion Li-brary

Use a hyphen in compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine and in fractions used as adjectives.
Thirty-two A two-thirds majority

You have seen hyphens in some compound nouns. When two or more words expressing one thought act as an adjective before a noun, use a hyphen to connect them.

Long-range plans

Use a dash to set off a sudden change of thought or an afterthought, or to mean namely or in other words.
Tom and Alex are very close most brothers are. The game it went into overtime was really exciting.

Parentheses indicate another type of interruption. They enclose information that isnt necessary to the meaning of a sentence or information that some readers may already know.

The president (Cooper Smith) presented the award.

Use hyphens or dashes correctly in these sentences.




One of the best known pieces or furniture is the bed. A king size bed the largest size is wider than a double bed. How do you divide furniture, fur niture or furni ture?

Where are parentheses needed in these sentences?

4. A double bed is four and a half feet 1.37 meters wide. 5. French beds of the Empire period early 1800s were large.

Use hyphens or dashes correctly in these sentences.

6. A very rough bed is often called a bunk perhaps a shortened form of bunker. 7. American colonists usually stuffed their beds with whatever was plentiful corn husks, wood chips, or straw. 8. Could a bed be one third husks and two thirds straw? 9. The bedroom rarely a separate room could be in a corner.

Use hyphens or dashes correctly in these sentences.

10. Many children slept with their parents or in a trundle bed a bed pushed under the parents bed during the day. 11. Privacy a sought after condition was almost impossible. 12. How is privacy divided, priv a cy or pri va cy?