For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Unread post by 3Rs » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:30 am

Dear colleagues,

Is it correct to say a 2-year study, or a 2 year study?

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Unread post by Lynn » Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:13 am

I don't remember the hyphen rule off the top of my head, but it seems to me that the proper form is: a two year study.
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Re: 2-year?

Unread post by Buddhaheart » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:24 am

3Rs wrote:Dear colleagues,

Is it correct to say a 2-year study, or a 2 year study?
One of my handbooks for writers does recommend using a hyphen when 2 or more prefixes apply to one root word: two-year (2-year)study, four-year program & so on.

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Unread post by Heads Up Eng » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:08 am

We hyphenate compounds when they appear before a noun. For example: fire-resistant curtains, fixed-rate mortgages, out-of-date credit cards. We do this to avoid confusion. Compare the following:

an old furniture salesman -and- an old-furniture salesman

The first one indicates that the salesman is old, while the second is just a person who sells old furniture. In your question, then, two-year study would be correct.

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