What are the rules on hyphens in ages: 20-year-old...two hyphens?

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What are the rules on hyphens in ages: 20-year-old...two hyphens, one after year or none?  I feel as though I've seen it each way.

asked Apr 01 '13 at 12:26 Lawrence Collette New member

1 answer


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If the adjective phrase (twenty-year-old) comes before the noun it modifies, use hyphens AND no -s on 'old'; if the adjective phrase comes after the verb (usually be or some other non-action verb) AND not before a noun, don't use any hyphens and add -s on 'old.

 

My twenty-year-old cousin lives in Paris.

He is twenty years old.

He is a twenty-year-old Canadian man.

link comment edited Apr 04 '13 at 11:55 Shawn Mooney Expert

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