Writing tip: when to use a hyphen

By Tiffany Leong posted 04-17-2019 11:11

Whether you're working on your resume, writing a report or sending an important email, proper grammar is incredibly important. I don't know about you, but when I read something with spelling and punctuation mistakes, it makes me doubt if the facts are correct. Attention to detail matters!

As communications manager for Beta Gamma Sigma, I get lots of writing, editing and proofreading questions. (And as a former journalist and professional copywriter and editor, I almost always have an answer.)

That said, there are some areas that still trip me up—and one of them is hyphenation. I have to google phrases like "hand picked hyphenated" to double-check.

So I was excited to find this handy guide from that breaks down lots of hyphen-related rules with ample examples. If you find yourself struggling to figure out if a certain phrase or word should be hyphenated, check this out and you'll likely find the answer.

(If you want the quick version, this infographic from outlines some basic hyphenation rules, simply explained with examples. Despite the poorly written introduction text, I think the rules are all correct.)

Happy writing!

Tiffany Leong
Communications Manager, BGS