ninety-eight-year-old lady

squidink

Senior Member
Venezuela, Spanish
Hi.

I've been reading on this website about the use of hyphens and it seems that there is disagreement on whether it is necessary to use it the following way:

Her neighbor is a ninety-eight-year-old lady.

Can any of those hyphens be ommited?

I would think not, since "ninety-eight-year-old" is all one word, a compound adjective. Is this correct?
 
  • Hi.

    I've been reading on this website about the use of hyphens and it seems that there is disagreement on whether it is necessary to use it the following way:

    Her neighbor is a ninety-eight-year-old lady.

    Can any of those hyphens be ommited?

    I would think not, since "ninety-eight-year-old" is all one word, a compound adjective. Is this correct?
    Hi there,
    The way you have written it is the correct way because when you have many words that come together to collectively form an adjective you have to put hypens in between each word.

    Drei
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Hi there,
    The way you have written it is the correct way because when you have many words that come together to collectively form an adjective you have to put hypens in between each word.

    Drei
    Same here.
     
    Although it may seem like a pain, I see the advantage to the use of the hyphen. Let's contrast the following sentences:

    1. Her neighbor is a ninety eight year old lady.
    2. Her neighbor is a ninety-eight-year-old lady.

    When reading the first sentence each word is pronounced separately like a gunshot sound whereas with the second sentence the "ninety-eight-year-old" part is read quickly together and thus facilitates the diction.

    Drei
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Although it may seem like a pain, I see the advantage to the use of the hyphen. Let's contrast the following sentences:

    1. Her neighbor is a ninety eight year old lady.
    2. Her neighbor is a ninety-eight-year-old lady.

    When reading the first sentence each word is pronounced separately like a gunshot sound whereas with the second sentence the "ninety-eight-year-old" part is read quickly together and thus facilitates the diction.

    Drei
    Sure, and besides, without the hyphens, there's the possible ambiguous meaning of "ninety-eight-year old lady" --
     
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