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Thread: Hyphens or not?

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 4

    Hyphens or not?

    I've done a search but only found one closely related post that deals with my problem. I have two examples in which I need help.


    A Mexican born singer


    A Mexican-born singer


    By the time he was 11 years old


    By the time he was 11-years-old

    I am thinking the answer to my second problem would be this:

    By the time he was 11 years old


    By the time he was an 11-year old

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,208

    Re: Hyphens or not?

    In the first, I would use a hyphen, though you will see it used without.
    In the second, no hyphens. We use hyphen with ages, when it comes before a noun and functions like an adjective:
    A seven-years-old child.
    The child is seven years old.

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 4

    Smile Re: Hyphens or not?

    Thank you both for your help. This was something I needed to be sure of before I re-submitted a flyer for proofing.


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