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Is It "Previously-Explained Goal" or "Previously Explained Goal"?

 A quick and dirty tip on hyphenation

By
Mignon Fogarty,

Is It

Chuck B. asked whether he needs a hyphen in the phrase "the previously-explained goal." It's a good question because hyphens are tricky.

You use a hyphen to create a compound adjective before a noun:

  • Blue-streaked cheese

  • Water-soaked man

You don't use a hyphen, though, when one of the two modifiers before the noun is an adverb that ends in "-ly."

  • The previously explained goal

  • Happily soaked man

Read more about hyphens here.

 

 

The Grammar DevotionalGet more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

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