What is a Hyphen?
The hyphen (?) is a punctuation mark, which is alternatively known as negative, dash, subtract, or minus sign. Also, it is usually used to link words and to distinct syllables of a single word. Its use is called hyphenation. For instance, Non-hyphenated is a simple example of a hyphen. Sometimes you may get confuse with horizontal bar ―, em dash -, figure dash -, en dash – that are used for various purposes. These all dashes (horizontal bar ―, em dash -, figure dash -, en dash-) looks same, which create confusion. And, minus sign is more vertically centered in some typefaces. The hyphen and underscore keys are available in the below picture that can help you out to recognize the hyphen symbol.
The hyphen is considered as a single entity according to orthographic concept. On the basis of the context of use, the entity is represented with the help of different characters and glyphs such as non-breaking hyphens, hyphen-minuses, Unicode hyphens, and soft hyphens (optional hyphens.
Where is located hyphen key on the keyboard?
Below is given a picture of computer keyboard that includes hyphen keys on top of the keyboard and circled with red color. One is located on the numeric keyboard and the other is located on the main keyboard.
How to create the hyphen symbol
Creating the hyphen (-) symbol on a U.S. keyboard
You need to press the hyphen key on the U.S. keyboard to create a hyphen symbol. It is placed to the right side of the zero key and the same key as the underscore ( _ ). There is an easier way to use the hyphen key; you can use it on the numeric keypad with math formulas.
Creating the hyphen (-) symbol on a smartphone or tablet
You are required to open the keyboard on the smartphone or tablet and go into the symbols (sym) section or the numbers (123) and tap the “-” symbol to create a hyphen.
What is used of a hyphen on a computer?
On the computer, the hyphen is widely used in mathematics to minus one number from another and programming. Some examples of the use of hyphen are given below:
A hyphen in a math formula
A hyphen is used to minus (subtraction) in the math formula. For case, there is an example given below in which you can see 5 <minus> 3 is equal to 2.
A spreadsheet or a calculator could be used to subtract numbers on a smartphone or computer.
Hyphen in word processors
A hyphen is automatically inserted in many word processors at the time a word is cut off by the end of a line.
A hyphen in a search
The hyphen is used as a Boolean operator with the search engines. An example of the use of a hyphen with the search is given below. If you use this example, the search engine will return containing “search,” “Java,” “T,” “point” but will not return any result containing “expensive.”
A hyphen in English
In some compound words, hyphens are used to make the words easier in terms of reading them, as well as they help to clarify words used together. The words such as good-looking, quick-thinking, open-mouthed, high-risk, T-shirt, merry-go-round are all the words with hyphens that are the example of hyphen in English.
Other places with the minus symbol
A horizontal line or a minus symbol is generally used to move up, remove, an indication for a decrease, or zoom out on hardware devices and software programs. You can also see the minus or underscore on the top-right side of Microsoft Windows that is commonly used to represent the minimize feature.
When should I hyphenate words?
In some compound words (connected words), hyphens are used to make the words easier in terms of reading them, as well as they help to clarify words used together. The words such as good-looking, quick-thinking, open-mouthed, high-risk, T-shirt, merry-go-round are all the words with hyphens that are the example of hyphen in English. There are some common rules of hyphenation that are given below, which need to keep in your mind when you apply hyphen in certain circumstances.
- Connected two or more words that have a new meaning or act as a new word when hyphenated. For case, as compared to “know” and “how,” know-how has a different meaning.
- Hyphenate words that act together are used to alter many words. For instance, let’s take the word ‘full-scale’ that modifies ‘text’ and make the word “full-scale test.” However, the word that works as an adjective cannot be hyphenated.
- There is a rule if the first word ends with “ly,” it cannot be hyphenated.
- When you are writing a compound number, use a hyphen. For case, twenty-two and eighty-two need a hyphen as they both are compound numbers. Hence, they should be written “twenty-two” and “eighty-two.”
- In most conditions, avoid using hyphens when you are writing a word with a prefix.
- Splitting a word at the end of the line, always use hyphenation in these kinds of words.