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Some grammar help please?

(92 Posts)
TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 15-Nov-15 01:09:09

Should the phrase below have hyphens? If yes or no, could you please explain why in idiot speak?

"In this book,Tara factors in the realities of life as a nurse with practical and easy-to-implement advice."


anothernumberone Sun 15-Nov-15 01:10:37


MillionToOneChances Sun 15-Nov-15 01:11:23

'Generally, hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound adjective.

an off-campus apartment
state-of-the-art design'

Donge13 Sun 15-Nov-15 01:11:31


TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 15-Nov-15 01:11:44

Could you explain why please? flowers

MillionToOneChances Sun 15-Nov-15 01:12:30

Yes, easy-to-implement should be hyphenated as the hyphens modify them to form a single idea - a compound adjective.

catfordbetty Sun 15-Nov-15 01:13:26

Yes, the hyphens are correct. Think of easy-to-implement as one idea modifying the word advice.

catfordbetty Sun 15-Nov-15 01:13:48

Beat me to it!

TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 15-Nov-15 01:14:30

Some conflicting advice...grin which I expected because I'm confused too. I don't understand terms like compound adjective...I tend to go on instinct and am often correct but it's good to hear the proper reasons Million thank that definite?

MillionToOneChances Sun 15-Nov-15 01:17:13

Yes, 100%. I'm hot on grammar and crap at concise explanations, hence the quote grin

MillionToOneChances Sun 15-Nov-15 01:18:10

MillionToOneChances Sun 15-Nov-15 01:21:35

Compound adjective just describes more than one word linked together with hyphens, I believe. A compound word is just two words stuck together, like 'babysitter'.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 15-Nov-15 02:05:53

Thanks so much Million!

Can you help me with "Over-time" and "Over-budget" too please? blush

Part of a sentence...

"Causing jobs to go over-time and over-budget"


Maryz Sun 15-Nov-15 02:32:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Sun 15-Nov-15 02:35:26

I think in your first example it's debatable (and almost as much about style as anything) and in your second definitely not.

DramaAlpaca Sun 15-Nov-15 02:50:59

Hyphens fine in your first post.

Definitely no hyphens required in your second examples.

Wobblystraddle Sun 15-Nov-15 03:19:28

It's not debatable - they definitely should be hyphenated as they are a compound adjective.

However, many people don't do it so we see examples of this all the time where it is not hyphenated. Doesn't make it right though.

Nandocushion Sun 15-Nov-15 03:24:06

Yes to hyphens in the OP, and like Wobblystraddle says, it's not debatable. It would be incorrect without them.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Sun 15-Nov-15 03:25:03

I've seen house style guides that disagree (possibly for aesthetic reasons of page clutter). I'd go with hyphens when it aided clarity, myself.

TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 15-Nov-15 05:21:51

Can anyone tell me please why there should be no hyphens in over time and over budget?

Also can anyone please tell me why the following is hyphenated

"Always double-check that the client has recieved any messages"

BitOutOfPractice Sun 15-Nov-15 05:55:32

It shouldn't I don't think

Wobblystraddle Sun 15-Nov-15 07:01:28

With phrases that sometimes seem to be hyphenated and sometimes not, it often seems to be a matter of consistency. House style sheets (which organisations produce to ensure consistency across all the writing produced for public consumption, so not just newspapers or publishers) can vary and decisions on those sheets are made by someone, whom others may not necessarily have agreed with.

Having said that, often the hyphen is there to avoid confusion. Take the noun phrase 'The big head teacher.' Does that mean the head teacher is big, or that the teacher has a big head? I'd say head teacher is big. But 'big-head teacher' communicates the other meaning. I am aware that this is a dreadful example, by the way, as bighead might be written in one word. You can never think of a good example when you need one! But I hope you get the drift.

Over time and over budget are just phrases, no linking together of them needed. However, if they became compound adjectives in a sentence - is that even possible? e.g. the over-time costs mounted quickly (dreadful example again, but hopefully you get my drift) - then they would need to be hyphenated.

Incidentally, my ex-boss when I was an editor (he ran the company) told me that you don't need to hyphenate when one of the words is an adverb e.g. the quickly running man (also clunky, cos it's early) doesn't need hyphenating, as it is obvious which of the words 'quickly' refers to in that noun phrase.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Sun 15-Nov-15 07:13:24

Fine tooth comb wobbly smile

ToastedBanana Sun 15-Nov-15 07:29:56

It's not debatable - they definitely should be hyphenated as they are a compound adjective.

Really clear explanation Wobby. I've learnt (or should that be learned?) something. Out of interest when is it right to use a hyphen mid sentence like in your above example? I do it a lot but never know if it's technically correct.

Wobblystraddle Sun 15-Nov-15 07:41:05

It was a bit long, wasn't it blush

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