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Use Hyphens Effectively

In this worksheet, students will rehearse how to accurately use a hyphen in order to join a prefix to a root word.

'Use Hyphens Effectively' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Word Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Root Word Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

What are hyphens?


A hyphen is shorter than a dash and joins words together.

We do not leave spaces between the hyphen and the words.

For example: twenty-five


We use hyphens to join a prefix to a root word.


When should we use hyphens?

1. Numbers

In numbers between 21-99 (don't use hyphens for multiples of 10, e.g. 20,30).

For example: sixty-five' or 'one hundred and twenty-two


2. Ages

When a person's age is written before a noun or instead of a noun.

For example: 'I have a two-year-old son who loves to jump around.'


3. Times

When time is written before a noun or instead of a noun.

For example: 'she caught the twelve-o'clock train.'


4. In names

When surnames of two names are joined together (double barreled).

For example: Mary Taylor-Smith


5. Journeys

A hyphen is put between two place names.

For example: 'I caught the London-Bristol train.'


6. To avoid doubling a vowel.

For example: anti-art


7. To avoid tripling a consonant.

For example: shell-like


8. To prevent ambiguity, misreading or mispronunciation.

For example: re-cover versus recover


This activity will help you master the different ways of using a hyphen correctly in your spelling.

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