Punctuation is the basic element of English grammar and without it a sentence is not only incomplete but also insensible. There are various marks of punctuation that are used in sentences to give them more meaning and make it easier for the reader to understand. If we omit these punctuation marks from a sentence we will be left hanging. Also, without a punctuation mark a sentence can have various meanings and the reader might assume the meaning the writer is not conveying.
Today I will talk about the less known punctuation mark called hyphen and its usage in English language.
The hyphen is denoted by a small hanging horizontal line (-).
When two words or two parts of words are meant to be joined together in a sentence, a hyphen is used.
This is a pet-friendly hotel.
Notice the two words pet and friendly were supposed to be joined together to make more sense and a hyphen served the purpose.
There is some great-sounding music in my playlist.
When the adjective comes before the noun of two words which are to be joined together, a hyphen is used.
Hyphens are also employed with past participles.
A well-known author is giving speech tonight.
Well and known are joined together using a hyphen where known is a past participle.
There exist some hyphenated compound words which are two or more words that contain hyphen between them. These include:
Father-in-law, factory-packed, store-bought, six-year-old etc.