Hyphens Exercise (570)
In each sentence, determine whether one or more hyphens should be inserted or omitted.
Answers and Explanations
Original: Community health centers have evolved from a simple safety-net to a progressive care-delivery model.
Correct : Community health centers have evolved from a simple safety net to a progressive care-delivery model.
The noun phrase "safety net" needs no hyphen, and the phrase "care delivery" is correctly hyphenated to serve as a phrasal adjective for "model."
Original: Nearly all of the songs were completed in two takes or fewer during these spur of the moment sessions.
Correct : Nearly all of the songs were completed in two takes or fewer during these spur-of-the-moment sessions.
The phrasal adjective "spur of the moment" should be hyphenated.
Original: Rubio’s respect for Bush is well-documented in his writings.
Correct : Rubio’s respect for Bush is well documented in his writings.
A phrasal adjective needs no hyphenation when it follows the noun it is modifying.
Original: Jones is Smith’s on and offscreen buddy.
Correct : Jones is Smith’s on- and offscreen buddy.
This sentence does not refer to the fact that Jones is Smith’s on buddy and his offscreen buddy; the meaning is that he is his on-screen and offscreen buddy, and (even though the style is distractingly different for these antonyms) the first instance of "screen" can be omitted and implied with a strategy known as suspensive hyphenation.
Original: Newly-discovered writings by Harry Truman reveal musings on Dwight D. Eisenhower and some anti-Semitism.
Correct : Newly discovered writings by Harry Truman reveal musings on Dwight D. Eisenhower and some anti-Semitism.
Adverbs such as "newly" should not be hyphenated to verbs when the two words modify a noun. When the prefix "anti" precedes a common noun, it is not hyphenated (as in "antioxidant"), but when the prefix is followed by a proper noun, the hyphen is required.