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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.

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'Miss Smith would like to coordinate the Leaver's Ball.'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

 

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'The police detective decided to reexamine the evidence.'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

 

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'The Headteacher had to reexplain the playground rules.'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

 

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'Ben was furious, why did he have to work a twenty two hour shift?'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'Latest news...the football player resigns for another year!'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

Read the sentences below carefully and choose the one which uses a hyphen correctly.

There are some beautiful-looking flowers in the garden.

Joe remembered he was meant to re-new his library card.

Daniel was a brilliant-and honest man.

Read the sentences below carefully and choose the one which uses a hyphen correctly.

The sudden downpour of rain re-freshed the garden.

Sam re-coiled when he saw the spider scuttle across the room.

The close-up of the film showed detail that could be missed on the first viewing.

Can you choose the correct word that matches the definition?

 

To hand in notice at a job to leave.

Resign

Re-sign

Which of the two sentences below has the following meaning?

 

The cows that eat grass.

 

The grass eating cows.

The grass-eating cows.

Read the phrase below.

Add a hyphen to the phrase and use it within a description that uses a relative clause.

 

'The happy looking dog.'

  • Question 1

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'Miss Smith would like to coordinate the Leaver's Ball.'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
co-ordinate
EDDIE SAYS
The word missing a hyphen is 'co-ordinate'. A hyphen is required in this word to avoid doubling a vowel. When practising any form of spelling, always check you understand the meaning of each word. If you are unsure, use a thesaurus to help you. Co-ordinate means to organise something.
  • Question 2

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'The police detective decided to reexamine the evidence.'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
re-examine
EDDIE SAYS
The word missing a hyphen is 're-examine'. A hyphen is required in this word in order to avoid doubling a vowel. You're getting better at this with every attempt! Great focus, let's push on.
  • Question 3

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'The Headteacher had to reexplain the playground rules.'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
re-explain
EDDIE SAYS
The word missing a hyphen is 're-explain'. A hyphen is required in this word to avoid doubling a vowel.
  • Question 4

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'Ben was furious, why did he have to work a twenty two hour shift?'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
twenty-two
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? The missing hyphen is in the word 'twenty-two'. Remember, a hyphen should be inserted in numbers between 21-99.
  • Question 5

Below is a sentence with a word that is missing a hyphen.

 

'Latest news...the football player resigns for another year!'

 

Can you rewrite the word in the box, inserting the missing hyphen?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
re-signs
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on this time? The missing hyphen is in the word re-signs. The hyphen is used to join the prefix to the root word.
  • Question 6

Read the sentences below carefully and choose the one which uses a hyphen correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
There are some beautiful-looking flowers in the garden.
EDDIE SAYS
There were quite a few tricky sentences to consider in this question! The only correctly punctuated sentence is option one, as a hyphen is needed for 'beautiful-looking'. In this context, the hyphen helps to avoid ambiguity. Option two and three do not require a hyphen.
  • Question 7

Read the sentences below carefully and choose the one which uses a hyphen correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
The close-up of the film showed detail that could be missed on the first viewing.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on this time? The only correctly punctuated sentence is option three, a hyphen is needed for 'close-up'. The hyphen is used to avoid ambiguity. Options one and two do not require a hyphen. You're making great progress!
  • Question 8

Can you choose the correct word that matches the definition?

 

To hand in notice at a job to leave.

CORRECT ANSWER
Resign
EDDIE SAYS
In this context, the correct word is 'resign'- meaning to hand notice in at a job to leave. Re-sign means to literally sign again, this could be a document or a contract. This form of the word does require a hyphen. See how a hyphen can totally change the meaning of a word?
  • Question 9

Which of the two sentences below has the following meaning?

 

The cows that eat grass.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The grass-eating cows.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? Option two gives the correct meaning. Option one doesn't use a hyphen, therefore it means 'the grass that is eating cows!' Hyphens are an important punctuation mark that ensure ambiguity is avoided.
  • Question 10

Read the phrase below.

Add a hyphen to the phrase and use it within a description that uses a relative clause.

 

'The happy looking dog.'

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In this question, the student receives one mark for correctly using the noun phrase 'happy-looking' with the use of a hyphen. A second mark can be awarded for the inclusion of a relative clause within the description. A relative clause is a subordinate clause that adapts or modifies the noun. A relative clause often begins with who, that or which. A relative clause adds information about the noun, therefore must be related to the noun. For example: The happy-looking dog, who eagerly wagged his tail at anyone he met.
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