"much needed" or "much-needed"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by rubes1, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. rubes1 Senior Member

    United States, English
    Is the hyphen here required or not? Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    "The agreement does not promote much-needed reform and restructuring in the country's textile industry... "

    Thanks :)
  2. hly2004 Banned

    my 2 cents:

    It's not essential.

    Hope it helps:)
  3. margo16 Senior Member

    I concur, though someone hyphenate it.
  4. rubes1 Senior Member

    United States, English
    Ok, thanks:)
  5. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Use the phrase as an adjective, and hyphenation is preferred. Use "needed" as an appositive (subjective complement) with "much" as a modifier, and it works with or without the hyphen.

    "This is a much-needed change."

    "The adjustment in my annuity was much needed, given my restrained circumstances."
  6. daoxunchang Senior Member

    Chinese China
    If this "much" is used to modify "needed", then it's necessary. Without it, "much" here refers to quantity, the quantity of the reform, not quality, the quality to what extent this reform is needed.
  7. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    I would say without.
  8. rubes1 Senior Member

    United States, English
    Thanks all for your suggestions. I decided to leave the hyphen. I think the sentence is confusing without the hyphen... :)
  9. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    I agree with your decision. As two or more others have pointed out, it depends what much is intended to do. Here it modifies needed. Thus, to avoid ambiguity you need a hyphen to make that link unbreakable.

    The agreement does not promote much (no hyphen) needed reform...
    This could be read as, "The agreement does not promote much of the reform that is needed..."
  10. The same rule applies in BE. The hyphen is needed here.


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