Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Grammar Tips: Hyphens and ages

Hey all, Robin here. I don't have a blog myself (maybe I need one) so I'm hijacking Michael's. I want to do a series of posts on editing...I'm doing a lot of editing these days and I'm always learning something new and thought I would pass on what I find interesting.

Today, I want to discuss a when you use hyphens in ages. For instance is it "twelve-year-old" or "twelve year old."

The answer depends on if the phrasal adjective comes before or after the noun.  
  • When before the noun: use hyphens
  • When after the noun: no hyphens

That's all fine and good but I had a bigger problem, what if you are using the phrase as a noun rather than an adjective.  This came up because of the following sentence in Michael's new novel, The Death of Dulgath.
My mother had all the creativity of an eight-year-old with a spotted puppy. 
Well, as it turns out you do hyphenate it.  If you want to learn more on the subject, I recommend this post on the Grammarist site.

Hope it helps someone. If nothing else, it'll provide a nice bookmark for me the next time my old brain can't remember how to handle hyphens and ages.

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the grammar tips about hyphens and ages. I had been unaware of this. Hereafter I can keep in mind and apply in such usages. Waiting for you next post! Keep sharing!

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