Common mistake missing hyphen in '1000 word essay'

Common Mistake: Missing Hyphen

One of the most common mistakes in English grammar is forgetting to use a hyphen when it is necessary. The use of hyphens is important as they help to clarify the meaning of words and phrases, especially when used as modifiers.

1. Compound Modifiers

Compound modifiers are created when two or more words work together to describe a noun. In such cases, a hyphen is used between the words to join them and form a single concept. For example:

  • She is a full-time employee. (correct)
  • She is a full time employee. (incorrect)

In the incorrect example, the absence of a hyphen changes the meaning of the phrase. It suggests that the employee is full and works time instead of conveying that they work on a full-time basis.

Another example:

  • The project requires a three-month timeline. (correct)
  • The project requires a three month timeline. (incorrect)

In this case, the correct usage of a hyphen clarifies that the project needs to be completed within a three-month period, rather than taking three months to complete.

2. Numbers and Words

Hyphens are also used when combining numbers and words to form adjectives or compound modifiers. Here are a few examples:

  • He has a 1000-word essay due tomorrow. (incorrect)
  • He has a 1000-word essay due tomorrow. (correct)

The presence of a hyphen in the correct example ensures that the adjective '1000-word' modifies the noun 'essay' as a compound concept, referring to an essay that contains 1000 words.


  • I live in a two-story building. (correct)
  • I live in a two story building. (incorrect)

The incorrect usage of a hyphen alters the meaning, suggesting that there are two separate stories within the building, rather than describing the building as having two floors.

Using Linguix Grammar Checker

To avoid making such mistakes, it's always helpful to use a reliable grammar checker like Linguix. This advanced tool thoroughly analyzes your writing and provides suggestions for improvements, including hyphen usage and other grammar rules.

missing hyphen in '1000 word essay' mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    He wrote a 10,000 word essay.

    He wrote a 10,000-word essay.

  • Incorrect:
    He wrote a 2000 word blog article.

    He wrote a 2000-word blog article.

  • Incorrect:
    Twitter has a 140 character limit.

    Twitter has a 140-character limit.

  • Incorrect:
    He prepared a 2000 word Google doc.

    He prepared a 2000-word Google doc.

  • Incorrect:
    It's only a three word sentence.

    It's only a three-word sentence.

  • Correct:
    Similar behavior is noticed when copying from one Word doc to another Word doc.
  • Correct:
    Four Word essays were stored in a separate folder.
  • Correct:
    Please complete one Word document first.
  • Incorrect:
    He wrote a 6 paragraph essay.

    He wrote a 6-paragraph essay.

  • Incorrect:
    She earns a 6 digit salary.

    She earns a 6-digit salary.

  • Incorrect:
    He needed a 2 letter scrabble word.

    He needed a 2-letter scrabble word.

  • Incorrect:
    The 2 letter iso code for Germany is 'DE'.

    The 2-letter iso code for Germany is 'DE'.

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