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Grammatik auf Englisch - Die Verwendung des Bindestrichs

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Bindestrich im Englischen, Englischer Bindestrich, Bindestrich Englisch

There are two types of hyphens. Both of them are short lines written between letters or num-bers without spaces on either side.

The first type, known as the soft hyphen, is used to indicate that a word has been divided at the end of a line. Because most word-processor applications come with a built-in, automatic hyphenation function, you usually don't need to be familiar with the rules for soft hyphens.

The second type, known as the hard hy¬phen, is used to join two words together anywhere they may occur. The rules gov¬erning the placement of these hyphens are not so straightforward. Not only are there many of them, but the rules themselves vary from dialect to dialect. Knowing whether one should hyphenate two words or not can in fact be quite bewildering -even for a native speaker.

Here is one way to simplify the entire issue using one generalised style that will make sense both to you and to most readers.


Write prefixed words as a single word.

Hyphenate them only when the single word would result in confusion with another word, in mispronunciation or when there is a collision of vowels or consonants.

Examples written as one word:

Recalibrate, Antibiotic, Counteract
Debunk, Exclude, Overconfident

Examples using hyphens:

Re-entry (double vowel)
Anti-aircraft ( double vowel )
De-ice ( double vowel )
Ex-wife ( double consonant )
Non-effective ( see Tip below )
Over-reflective (double consonant)
Pre-eminent (double vowel)

Use a hyphen when the prefix is repeated in the word itself or to avoid confusion with another word:

Re-release (repeated prefix)
Resign ( to terminate one's employment )
Re-sign ( to sign something again )
Recover (to get back or regain)
Re-cover ( to cover again )
Un-ionised ( not ionised )
Unionised ( formed into a labour union )

Always hyphenate prefixes before a capi¬talised name, a numeral or a date. Also hyphenate when the prefix is capitalised unless it has been capitalised because it appears at the beginning of a sentence:

The meeting will take place in mid-July.

That is pre-1990s technology.

Her politics are very pro-French.

The Martians were already building deadly B-particle weapons when humans were still dragging their hands behind them.


Most words with suffixes are written as a single word:

Businesslike, Careless, Planetology
Stenography, Clockwise, Nationwide
Childproof, Moonscape, Northward

The suffixes -less and -like should be hyphenated if the word already has ll on the end:

The church tower was bell-less.

The texture is shell-like.

If you want to create a new word not found in the dictionary, the suffix should be hyphenated:

The city was a bit Frankfurt-ish.

You have to have a Master's of Printer- ology to work in this office.

That remark was a classic Mathew-ism.

Compound modifiers

The hyphenation of compound modifiers is one of the most poorly understood gram¬mar issues in the English language. Once you know the rules and start applying them consistently, you'll start seeing mistakes everywhere.

Hyphenate two or more words preceding the noun when they form a single unit modifying the noun:

It is a well-thought-out business plan.

Our new jet-black product packaging looks
really modern.

We need an easy way to separate our up-
to-date files from the ones that have not
been well maintained.

That ugly, 140-year-old building should
really be torn down.

But do not hyphenate them when they follow the noun:

The business plan is well thought out.

Our new product packaging is jet black.

Our database is not up to date.

And do not hyphenate them when the first adjective modifies the complete noun phrase that follows it:

A solid oak desk is an extremely stable desk made of oak. A solid-oak desk is a desk made 100% of oak. It might not be very stable.

More examples:

A corporate food chain is a food chain associated with one or more corpora¬tions. A corporate-food chain is a chain of corporate food. This could be a chain restaurant specialising in food one gets in a corporate cafeteria.

Mobile-phone coverage is coverage for mobile phones. Mobile phone coverage is phone coverage that is mobile.

Do not hyphenate -ly adverbs before single or compound modifiers that modify a noun:

The intentionally omitted theme

Incorrect: The intentionally-omitted theme
The exceedingly well-thought-out plan

Incorrect: The exceedingly-well-thought-out plan

Use a hyphen to create suspended compounds:

He is looking for both short- and full-time employment.
The course is designed for 20-, 30- and 40-year olds.

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Bindestrich im Englischen, Englischer Bindestrich, Bindestrich Englisch

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