Hyphens Exercise (623)

In each sentence, determine whether one or more hyphens should be inserted in or omitted.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Apple has maintained that it negotiated revenue-sharing at rates that are slightly higher than the industry standard.
Correct : Apple has maintained that it negotiated revenue sharing at rates that are slightly higher than the industry standard.

The noun phrase "revenue sharing" is an open compound; no hyphen is necessary.

2.
Original: Most places will drop off 5-to-10 degrees and be back to normal on Tuesday, forecasters said.
Correct : Most places will drop off 5 to 10 degrees and be back to normal on Tuesday, forecasters said.

The word "to" serves as a range separator, so no hyphens should be used in this number range. (If a symbol is to replace the word, however, it should be an en dash, not a hyphen: "Most places will drop off 5–10 degrees and be back to normal on Tuesday, forecasters said.")

3.
Original: Rather than engage students in back and forth exchanges that serve to expand and extend their learning, teachers give perfunctory comments.
Correct : Rather than engage students in back-and-forth exchanges that serve to expand and extend their learning, teachers give perfunctory comments.

The phrase "back and forth," a phrasal adjective describing the specific kind of exchanges in question, should be hyphenated before a noun to indicate that it modifies that noun as a unit.

4.
Original: Jones opened his 2016 campaign in the shadow of better known rivals.
Correct : Jones opened his 2016 campaign in the shadow of better-known rivals.

The phrase "better known" modifies "rivals," so it should be hyphenated before the noun.

5.
Original: A 4,000 square-foot parking lot is at the center of a land battle between its owners and residents.
Correct : A 4,000-square-foot parking lot is at the center of a land battle between its owners and residents.

The parking lot’s size is identified as 4,000 square feet, and the three words providing that detail should be hyphenated as a phrasal adjective modifying "parking lot."

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