List of commonly hyphenated words and expressions

Generally, compound words placed before the noun they modify become a single unit of meaning and need a hyphen. At uOttawa, be sure to always hyphenate the following expressions as shown; leaving the hyphen out not only hinders readability but can also change the meaning, sometimes with comical results:

  • Hazardous-waste management (vs. hazardous waste management, meaning the management is hazardous)
  • Hazardous-waste disposal (vs. hazardous waste disposal, meaning the waste disposal is being done hazardously)
  • Infectious-disease monitor (vs. infectious disease monitor, meaning the disease monitor is infectious)
  • Part-time student (but study part time—no hyphen)
  • Full-time student (but study full time—no hyphen)
  • On-campus housing
  • In-class assignment
  • Take-home exam
  • Three-credit courses
  • Six-credit courses
  • Non-credit courses
  • Campus-wide services
  • Off-campus housing
  • Second-language course
  • Long-term plan/short-term plan
  • Small-business grant (vs. small business grant, meaning the amount given was small)
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