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Use Hyphens Correctly

In this worksheet, students will study the correct use of hyphens when joining a prefix to a root word.

'Use Hyphens Correctly' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 6 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Word Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Root Word Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

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 might use a hyphen to join a prefix to a root word.


When should we use hyphens?


1. Numbers

In most numbers above 20

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.'


boy jumping in puddle


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 barrelled)

For example: Mary Taylor-Smith


5. Journeys

A hyphen is put between two place names.

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


a train


6. To avoid doubling a vowel

For example: anti-establishment


7. To avoid tripling a consonant

For example: shell-like


8. To prevent ambiguity, misreading or mispronunciation

For example: re-cover versus recover

The word re-cover means to cover again: ' I will have to re-cover the armchair that the cat has ripped to pieces.'

The word recover means to get better: 'You will recover much quicker if you stay in bed.'


boy in bed


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


Good luck!

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