HYPHENS, EM DASHES, AND EN DASHES
I’m not going to cover hyphens used in place of compound words because I covered that elsewhere on Robynn Gabel’s site http://dupler.org/ The very short version, when it comes to whether or not to use hyphens or one word that smashes together two words, is to use the dictionary. Also, for noun phrases, such as stick-in-the-mud or side by side, or double doors, use the dictionary. This post is all about phrasal adjectives.
Let’s break it into baby pieces: phrasal and adjective.
Phrase: Two or more words that make sense but do not form a complete sentence.
Adjective: A word or phrase that describes or qualifies a noun or pronoun. They often answer the questions: What? Which one? How many?
So we have an incomplete sentence that describes or qualifies a noun or pronoun, e.g.:
credit-card machine. Credit card together describes machine. Examples:
We used the credit-card machine versus We used our credit card.
We looked at the blue-sky ocean versus We looked at the blue sky.
Easy peasy, right?
Thank you for reading, and be sure to join me tomorrow on http://www.girl-who-reads.com/. I’ll be continuing my series on hyphens, em dashes, and en dashes. Em dashes aren’t used all that often by authors, particularly when they should be, and they’re the next up.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway (look at my conjunctions post below for details).