Hyphenation Rules for 35 Prefixes (and 1 Suffix)

There was a time when prefixes were routinely attached to root words with hyphens, but that time has, for the most part, passed. Now, hyphens are the exception, as detailed in the following list, which also provides simple definitions.

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Using Repetition to Produce Parallel Structure

Sentences that fail to observe a sound grammatical structure sometimes do so because a key word or phrase is not repeated (or balanced with a similar word or phrase) as part of an element equivalent to a previous element in the sentence. Each of the sentences below is missing a repeated word or phrase; the discussions that follow the examples explain what is lacking and the revisions demonstrate how to resolve the issues.

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Saints and Sanctity

The Latin adjective sanctus, meaning “consecrated” or “holy,” is the root of a family of words that sometimes but not always have a religious context. Definitions of those words follow.

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More Words That Turn on the Root “Vert”

A recent post dealt with many of the English words based on the Latin verb vertere, meaning “turn,” focusing on those that precede the root vert with a prefix, and their various grammatical forms. This follow-up post defines some additional words in the vertere family: those beginning with vert. Those with the variant stem vers rather than vert will be outlined in a subsequent post.

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The Meanings and Variations of “Sister”

Sister, from the Old English word sweoster and cognate with the Latin term soror, means not only “a female with one or more parents in common” but has also come, by extension, to refer to a woman with whom one has a bond or a common interest.

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Grammar Quiz #4: Misplaced Modifiers

Each of the following sentences includes a modifying phrase that is incorrectly or awkwardly placed; revise the sentences as necessary.

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3 Cases of Too Many Commas

This post illustrates several types of sentences that incorporate excessive punctuation. Each example is followed by a discussion and a revision.

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The Promise and Peril of Editing in Proof

Which method of editing is the most effective one? Which content formats should be employed, and how many iterations are necessary? Ultimately, what works for the publisher is the best approach, but consider that what is most expedient is often at odds with what is best.

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More Hyphenation of Phrasal Adjectives

Three types of phrasal adjectives are treated according to the same basic rules, as shown in the following (erroneous) examples, which are discussed and revised below each sentence.

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Words That Turn on the Root “Vert”

The Latin verb vertere, meaning “turn,” is the source of a number of English words that pertain to shifting one’s position from the status quo. The list below defines many of these terms (those with prefixes, and their various grammatical forms); a subsequent post will continue the discussion of additional words in the vertere family: those with suffixes and those with the variant root vers rather than vert.

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The Meanings and Variations of “Brother”

Brother, from the Old English word brothor and cognate with the Latin term frater and the Greek word phrater (both of which mean “fellow clan member”), means not only “a male with one or more parents in common” but has also come, by extension, to refer to a man with whom one has a bond or a common interest.

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