hyphen use


I have used both pre-school and preschool in my document and grammarly says they're both correct - even if they are - it is not correct to use both ways. One needs to be consistent - so which one is best?

hyphen consistency asked Sep 03 '12 at 01:55 Leffler New member

1 answer


Here is what various references have to say about whether to use a hyphen with the prefix "pre".


The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, 2007) includes preschool, but not pre-school. Other dictionaries that prefer preschool (and disdain pre-school) include the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th edition, 2011) and the various editions of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). 


The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, 2010, University of Chicago Press) says that words formed with the prefix "pre" should be closed -- preschool -- except when it is used to indicate an era or artistic style, pre-Columbian or pre-Raphaelite.


The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition, 2008, Modern Language Association) agrees. At 3.4.6h it says, "In general, do not use hyphens after prefixes (e.g., anti-, co-, multi-, non-, over-, post-, pre-, re-, semi-, sub-, un-, under-).


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Sep 03 '12 at 04:23 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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