Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Hyphens – part 7: ‘un’ words

with 2 comments

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The vast majority of ‘un’ words do not take a hyphen, for example:

  • unable
  • unaffected
  • uncaged
  • unarmed
  • unworried
  • uninviting
  • uncooperative

However, be wary of words such as un-British which do take a hyphen.

Hyphens to help avoid confusion

Hyphens and numbers

Hyphens and compass points

Hyphens and separating identical letters

Hyphens and compound nouns

Hyphens and compound adjectives

Find more user-friendly info on punctuation

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2 Responses

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  1. The root in “un-British” is capitalized, so it takes a hyphen. See also post-Reformation, Buddha-like, Canada-wide, etc.

    Michael Farrell

    19/03/2010 at 2:32 pm

    • Thanks, Michael — interesting and useful info.

      Deborah

      19/03/2010 at 3:21 pm


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