Wordwatch Towers

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

Hyphens – part 7: ‘un’ words

with 2 comments

The Flag of the United Kingdom, the right way ...
Image via Wikipedia

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


2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  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.


      19/03/2010 at 3:21 pm

Your questions and comments are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: