Hyphenated adjectives


Should I hyphenate mixed-martiail-arts in the following sentence: "The Convention Center hosts mixed martial arts championships"? In genreal, should you hyphante noun phrases that are working as adjectives?



asked Jun 27 '12 at 14:38 Anne Pentilla New member

1 answer


In general, adjective-noun phrases functioning as adjectives are hyphenated when they occur before the noun being modified. When the phrase occurs after the noun, the phrase is left open.


However, there are many exceptions and special cases. The Chicago Manual of Style devotes 7 pages to explaining all of the various situations.


Mixed martial arts is an adjective + adjective + noun phrase. Chicago says when the compound modifer consists of an adjective that itself modifies a compound, additional hyphens may not be necessary -- mixed martial-arts championship, not mixed-martial-arts championship.

link comment edited Jun 27 '12 at 18:03 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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