Don’t hyphenate compounds with words ending in ly:
Highly regarded leader; ridiculously long half-time show; beautifully decorated office; quickly drawn character.
Hyphenate words in phrases used as adjectives before a noun.
- The proposal was a last-ditch effort at compromise.
- The candidate produced a mile-long list of ideas.
- one-time bonus; 100-yard dash; one-foot margin; full-time employee; 30-day pay period; eight-week session.
When a number and unit of measurement are used adjectivally, they are hyphenated
12-inch ruler; nineteenth-century painter.
Hyphenate half compounds
- Robert was only half-awake during the lecture.
- Mike refused to consider the half-baked request.
- Halfhearted and halfway are spelled without hyphenating.
Any like words can be spelled without hyphenating.
Childlike; lifelike; birdlike.
Self words should be hyphenated.
Self-employed; self-serving; self-sufficient
Use a hyphen with all proper nouns and wide:
Don’t hyphenate other wide words: statewide, nationwide, countywide. NoteDon’t hyphenate “System-wide” because System (capitalized) is shorthand for the proper name of “UT System Administration.”
Multi words are not hyphenated unless such spelling makes for awkward reading.
- Multimedia; multifaceted; multipurpose
- Multi-talented; multi-generational
- nondegree-seeking student
Spelling, hyphenation and usage rules for common terms
- adviser, except in the case of a job title: Special Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion
- child care (two words)
- classwork: one word; course work, two words
- daytime; nighttime
- decision-making process; the process of decision making
- fundraiser; fundraising
- 15-week semester
- grade-point average
- healthcare (one word)
- Internet (capitalized)
- lifelong (adjective)
(daylong; monthlong; weeklong; yearlong)
- life span (noun); life-span (adjective)
- long-range (adjective)
- long-term (adjective)
- longtime (adjective)
- on-site (hyphenate as adjective or adverb)
- ultra don’t hyphenate: ultrafine, ultraviolet
- under don’t hyphenate: underline, underfunded
- workforce, workplace, workstation; but work site
Off Campus, On Campus
As adverb, no hyphens; as adjective, hyphens.
- The students rented an apartment off campus for the summer.
- On-campus space is unavailable.