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    #1

    Step-by-step guide

    Hello, hello, hello.

    Right, could anyone help me with this? I am trying to write: "A step-by-step guide...".

    My question is, am I right in using the hyphens? I think I am, as it is acting as an adverb yeah?

    I wouldn't ask, but I noticed on a UK Government website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg97.htm) that they were using "step by step guide".

    I've tried searching on the Internet and these forums but couldn't find anything definitive, so I thought I would ask you guys.

    Thanks in advance, you're a champion of illiterate men and women.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Step-by-step guide

    According to an internet source (which I'm afraid I now can't find!), it's "step by step" when used adverbially and "step-by-step" when used adjectivally.
    In your example, a "step-by-step guide" uses it adjectivally so the hyphens are correct.

    I would certainly have used the hyphens even without the advice I found later on the net.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Step-by-step guide

    Yeah, same, but I always try to double check these things and whenever I do I always end up questioning myself as everyone uses the phrases like these differently - rightly or wrongly.

    Cheers pal.

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    #4

    Re: Step-by-step guide

    Many Anglophone writers are quite uncertain about when to use hyphens. Lately I've noticed a tendency to hyphenate any group of words that can take hyphens, whether they need them or not.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Step-by-step guide

    Yeah, I can image that. I just try to stick to the rule that if they modify a noun, then to use them. I think that's right, but I'm never 100% sure, hence me having to always ask all the time haha.

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    #6

    Re: Step-by-step guide

    Quote Originally Posted by BenBenBen View Post
    Yeah, I can imagine image that. I just try to stick to the rule that if they modify a noun, then to use them. I think that's right, but I'm never 100% sure, hence my me having to always ask all the time haha.
    Your rule is a good one. The error many writers make is to hyphenate noun phrases as if they were compound adjectives.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Step-by-step guide

    BenBenBen, may I ask that you refrain from keep using "yeah" in your posts? We are keen to encourage all users to stick with standard English rather than slang, colloquialisms and non-standard words. The same goes for "yup" and "nope" for example, and to the alarmingly common "wanna" and "gonna".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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