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October 27, 2016

Hyphenation Station: Repeated Hyphens in a Phrase

Chelsea blog 2 by Chelsea Lee

A hyphen is usually used in APA Style when two or more words modify a common noun (and that noun comes after the modifiers), for example, 7-point scale or client-centered counseling. When multiple modifiers have a common base, the base can be omitted in all except the last modifier, but the hyphens should be retained. Also include spaces and commas as needed after the hyphens to create the list. Note that if the modifiers come after the common base, no hyphens should be used, but the base of the word can still be omitted.

Here are some examples:

Modifiers Before Common Base
(Use Hyphens)

Modifiers After Common Base
(No Hyphens)

short- and long-term effects

the effects were short and long term

4-, 5-, and 6-year-old girls

the girls were 4, 5, and 6 years old

10th- and 11th-grade students

the students were in the 10th and 11th grades

For more information on hyphenation principles, see Section 4.13 in the Publication Manual, our FAQ on hyphenation, or leave a comment below.

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