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  1. #1
    Pooya is offline Newbie
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    Default AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    I have heard that using hyphen is more prevalent in BrE English, but I also saw many texts from
    Americans who used it, e.g., though-provoking, non-native, etc. Nonetheless, I have two questions.

    First, have I heard something true about the prevalence?

    Second, are there any rules for distinguishing nationality of authors only based on usage of hyphen in their texts?


    Thanks!
    ------------------------------------
    P.S.: If there is any problem in my text above, please mention that, too.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    I have not seen it suggested that the American use is different. Use a hyphen to join the words that act together to modify a noun.

    His response was thought provoking.
    He gave a thought-provoking response.

    She attends school part time.
    She is a part-time student.

    If BrE use is different, I will be interested to know that too.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 01-Jul-2012 at 12:16.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If BrE use is different, I will be interested to know that too.
    It's similar in your examples, but in general "The rules about hyphens are complicated, and usage is not very clear. [...] If one is not sure whether to use a hyphen or not, the best thing is to look in a dictionary". Michael Swan (2005.550), Practical English Usage (3rd edn), Oxford: OUP.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    I agree. For non-modifying situations (look, there was one), choose one dictionary and stick with it.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Pooya is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    First of all, thanks for replying.
    Then, your comments are right, but we are not allowed to use a dictionary for a written examination.
    Therefore, it is a need to have some fundamental knowledge about different things.
    Besides, whole of a writing (an essay) must be unified in BrE or AmE style, and mixing them is not appropriated.
    Altogether, I wanted to know some information to keep my writing style unified.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    Here is some BrE guidance.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: AmE vs. BrE English style for using hyphen as a punctuation mark

    And here is some American guidance. There is not a lot of difference.
    Purdue OWL: Hyphens
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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