hyphens: nouns with adjectives and participles
- Hyphenate noun-plus-adjective compounds (in that order), whether they are used attributively (before the noun) or predicatively:
- duty-free goods / The goods were duty-free.
- tax-exempt bonds / The bonds are tax-exempt.
- Hyphenate noun-plus-participle compounds regardless of the position:
- snow-capped mountains / The mountains are snow-capped.
- a time-consuming activity / This activity is time-consuming.
Exceptions: There are a number of them, including handmade and handwritten.
- Do not hyphenate compounds formed from a noun and a gerund (present participle used as a noun). Some noun-plus-gerund compounds are written as one word:
Others are written as separate words:
- decision making
- power sharing
- problem solving
- deficit spending
See hyphens: compound adjectives for such compounds used adjectivally.
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