Hyphens Exercise (715)

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

Answers and Explanations

Original: It is now among the fastest growing cities in America.
Correct : It is now among the fastest-growing cities in America.

The sentence refers to a city that is among those growing the fastest, not a growing city that is among the fastest; the phrasal adjective "fastest growing" should be hyphenated.

Original: They frequently boast multi-million dollar salaries.
Correct : They frequently boast multimillion-dollar salaries.

This sentence illustrates two often-combined errors: The prefix "multi" is incorrectly hyphenated to a root word instead of properly directly attached to it, and a hyphen is erroneously omitted from a phrasal adjective referring to multiple millions of dollars.

Original: The full trailer for the highly-anticipated movie premiered Monday night.
Correct : The full trailer for the highly anticipated movie premiered Monday night.

Adverbial phrases are not hyphenated.

Original: Though the police officers are not trained in crisis-intervention, they did the right thing.
Correct : Though the police officers are not trained in crisis intervention, they did the right thing.

The hyphen in the noun phrase "crisis intervention" serves no purpose.

Original: He was driving an older model green or blue mini-van with tinted windows.
Correct : He was driving an older-model green or blue minivan with tinted windows.

What kind of minivan? (Note that "mini" is almost invariably directly attached to a root word, not hyphenated.) One that is an older model. "Older model" modifies "minivan," so it should be hyphenated.

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