Well known, little known, less known [hyphens?]

Hard-beat

Senior Member
Dutch
A well-known brand.
A little-known brand.
A less known brand.

Does less known follow well-known and little-known's example when being used as an adjective; ie does it require a hyphen?

I'm doubting because I can't spot a possible ambiguous meaning when letting the hyphen out.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    For what it's worth, I hyphenate "a less-known brand" and "a lesser-known brand" (or I would if I ever used them). I like consistency and if I'm hyphenating "well-known" and "little-known," there's no reason to make an exception for "less/lesser-known" -- especially if they appear in the same text as the other two.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Grammatically, it depends on the order of the words in the sentence: If it's used as a compound adjective before the noun, hyphenate; otherwise, not.

    That's a well-known brand. That brand is well known.
     
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