September 2020: Using hyphens in Danish and English
Hyphens are used to ‘glue’ words together to avoid confusion or ambiguity. However, in Danish and English, hyphens are used in different ways. Below, we have provided examples of when to use (and when not to use) hyphens in Danish and English.
UK: CO2 emission
UK: PhD student
A prefix is a letter or set of letters placed before the stem word to form a different word. In English, the following prefixes are always hyphenated: ‘all-’, ‘cross-’, ‘ex-’ og ‘self-’.
If a prefix ends in the same vowel that the stem word starts with, you separate them with a hyphen, e.g. ‘re-election’.
A suffix is a letter or set of letters added at the end of a stem word to form a different word. In Danish, hyphenated suffixes are mostly used in connection with abbreviations, whereas they are more commonly used with hyphens in English – and always after the following suffixes: ‘-type’, ‘-elect’ og ‘-designate’.
DK: en IT-agtig person
UK: an IT-like person
UK: Please use 12-point bold-type font
- Omitted words
DK: Erhvervs- og samfundsvidenskabelige discipliner
UK: Business and social science disciplines
Note! Always include a hyphen in compound adjectives if you omit a word. For example, ‘on-campus and off-campus teaching’ must be written ‘on- and off-campus teaching’ if you leave out the first ‘campus’.