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Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
Approved answer (verified by zafar142003)
As long as you stick with one dictionary, you will be consistent in your use.
See this from http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/hyphen.htm on uses of the hyphen:
adding certain prefixes to words: When a prefix comes before a capitalized word or the prefix is capitalized, use a hyphen (non-English, A-frame, I-formation). The prefixes self-, all-, and ex- nearly always require a hyphen (ex-husband, all-inclusive, self-control), and when the prefix ends with the same letter that begins the word, you will often use a hyphen (anti-intellectual, de-emphasize), but not always (unnatural, coordinate, cooperate). By all means, use a good dictionary when in doubt! For further information about compound nouns and compound modifiers, see the separate section on Compound Words.
That link brings you to this:
Compounds with PrefixesWith a handful of exceptions, compounds created by the addition of a prefix are not hyphenated:
anteroom, antisocial, binomial, biochemistry, coordinate, counterclockwise, extraordinary, infrastructure, interrelated, intramural, macroeconomics, metaphysical, microeconomics, midtown, minibike, multicultural, neoromantic, nonviolent, overanxious, postwar, preconference, pseudointellectual, reunify, semiconductor, socioeconomic, subpar, supertanker, transatlantic, unnatural, underdevelopedExceptions include
compounds in which the second element is capitalized or a number: anti-Semitic, pre-1998, post-Freudian
compounds which need hyphens to avoid confusion: un-ionized (as distinguished from unionized), co-op
compounds in which a vowel would be repeated (especially to avoid confusion): co-op, semi-independent, anti-intellectual (but reestablish, reedit)
compounds consisting of more than one word: non-English-speaking, pre-Civil War
compounds that would be difficult to read without a hyphen: pro-life, pro-choice, co-edited
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