hyphenating two words when one ends in ly


Should the following two examples be hyphenated? If so (or no), why? I read that you can hyphenate two or more adjectives when they come before a noun and act as a single idea, even if the first one ends in ly. To me, most combinations like this seem like a single idea.


1. technologically-oriented curricula

2. publically-involved college

hyphenating asked Feb 11 '13 at 17:51 C. Falvey New member

2 answers


No, you don't need a hyphen. Those words are both adverbs that end in "ly," and thus don't need hyphens after them when they're used as compound modifiers.


1. Technologically oriented curricula

2. Publically involved college


("Publicly" is the more common spelling, but "publically," as you have it, is also correct.)

link comment answered Feb 11 '13 at 18:44 Actually Holly Expert

This is a partial rule and therefore a potentially confusing one.

There is a long list of adjectives that end in -ly (such as early, curly and surly). These require hyphens when used as pre-modifiers.

An early-morning cup of coffee (vs. the ambiguous "early morning cup of coffee").

link comment answered Mar 30 '16 at 08:41 David Auerbach New member

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.