Common mistake missing hyphen in '24 hour motel'

One common mistake that people often make is forgetting to use a hyphen when it is necessary. The purpose of a hyphen is to connect two or more words together to create a compound word or to clarify the meaning of a phrase. Without a hyphen, the intended meaning can be misinterpreted or the word may not make sense at all.

Hyphenating a Compound Modifier

One specific situation where a hyphen is commonly missed is when dealing with compound modifiers. A compound modifier is made up of two or more words that work together to describe or modify another word. In this case, the hyphen is used to link the words together and indicate that they should be read as a single unit.


  • A twenty-four hour motel (incorrect)
  • A twenty-four-hour motel (correct)

In the incorrect example, "twenty-four hour" is used as a compound modifier to describe the noun "motel." However, without the hyphen, it can be read as "twenty four" modifying "hour," which doesn't make sense. The correct way to write it is with a hyphen between "twenty-four" and "hour," so it is understood that they are part of the same compound modifier.

It's important to note that not all compound modifiers require a hyphen. Generally, if the compound modifier comes before the noun it modifies and helps avoid confusion or ambiguity, a hyphen is needed.

Using a Hyphen with Prefixes and Suffixes

Another common mistake is overlooking the use of hyphens when adding prefixes or suffixes to words. When combining a prefix or a suffix with a word, a hyphen is often needed to clarify the meaning or ensure proper pronunciation.


  • A non-profit organization (incorrect)
  • A non-profit organization (correct)
  • A self-confident person (incorrect)
  • A self-confident person (correct)

In the incorrect examples, the words are written without a hyphen between the prefix or suffix and the root word. However, in both cases, a hyphen is necessary to convey the correct meaning. In the first example, "non" is the prefix meaning "not," but without the hyphen, it becomes "nonprofit," which conveys a different meaning. In the second example, "self" is the prefix, and the hyphen is needed to indicate that "self" and "confident" are meant to be read together.

Overall, using hyphens correctly is essential for clear and effective communication. It helps to prevent confusion, ensure proper understanding, and maintain grammatical accuracy.

Linguix grammar checker is a useful tool for identifying and correcting hyphenation errors, as well as other grammar and punctuation mistakes. It can save you time and effort in proofreading your writing and help you produce error-free content.

missing hyphen in '24 hour motel' mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    The 24 hour walmart never closes down.

    The 24-hour walmart never closes down.

  • Incorrect:
    He was working six 12 hour days.

    He was working six 12-hour days.

  • Incorrect:
    15 minute workout, starting at 6:30pm.

    15-minute workout, starting at 6:30pm.

  • Correct:
    I bet you play one hour a day.
  • Correct:
    I exercise for 1 hour every day.
  • Correct:
    5 hour per day gambling trip.
  • Correct:
    One hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after.
  • Correct:
    Conditioning: treadmill 10 minutes @ 3% incline - sprint @ 7 mph for 1 minute, walk @ 3 mph for 1 minute
  • Correct:
    If one assumes 24 hour/day operation for 360 days/year.
  • Correct:
    It is located one hour's drive from Barcelona.
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