When modifying a noun with three or more words, string them together with hyphens.
With compound modifiers that follow a noun, a hyphen is not needed because the relationship between the noun and compound modifier is already clear.
Some nouns use several simple words to express an idea, and if not joined by hyphens, may result in a confused reader.
With these types of compound nouns, there’s no room for reader confusion when hyphens aren’t present.
When using a compound noun as an adjective, a hyphen is required if the idea uses a noun and a participle.
When a verb requires a two word modifier to be expressed, you may need to hyphenate it depending on the context and position in the sentence.
DO NOT add a hyphen between an adverb and the word very or any word that ends in –ly. These types of compound ideas should always be hyphen free, no matter if they precede or succeed the noun.
Even though we only touched on a few, there are so many rules around hyphens. But always be sure to watch out for crowded copy. Add in too many hyphens, and your reader may struggle to see your point through all the hyphen clutter.
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