Common mistake Missing hyphens in '5 year old'

Common Mistake: Missing Hyphens in "5 Year Old"

One common mistake that people often make is forgetting to use hyphens when writing compound modifiers, such as "5 year old." Let's explore this issue and learn how to avoid it.

Using Hyphens in Compound Modifiers

When two or more words work together to describe or modify a noun, they form what is called a compound modifier. In these cases, it is important to connect the words with hyphens to clarify their relationship and ensure accuracy and clarity in your writing.

For example:

  • Incorrect: She has a 5 year old daughter.
  • Correct: She has a 5-year-old daughter.

By adding hyphens between "5," "year," and "old," we create a compound modifier that correctly describes the daughter's age. Without the hyphens, the sentence may be interpreted incorrectly.

Other Examples

Here are a few more examples of compound modifiers with missing hyphens:

  • Incorrect: I have a part time job.
  • Correct: I have a part-time job.
  • Incorrect: He is a well known actor.
  • Correct: He is a well-known actor.

In both of these examples, adding hyphens clarifies the relationship between the words, leading to a more accurate and professional sentence.

Linguix Grammar Checker

To avoid missing hyphens and other common grammar mistakes, you can use the Linguix grammar checker. This tool can help you improve your writing by highlighting errors and suggesting corrections, ensuring that your writing is clear, accurate, and easy to read.

Missing hyphens in '5 year old' mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    All five year olds were preparing for pre-school.

    All five-year-olds were preparing for pre-school.

  • Correct:
    It is almost 1 year old.
  • Correct:
    The fluid is less than 1 year old and looks and smells normal.
  • Correct:
    One year old at most.
  • Incorrect:
    All 5-year olds were preparing for pre-school.

    All 5-year-olds were preparing for pre-school.

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