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UE学術英語論文執筆のヒント002a: ハイフンの正しい使い方(パートA)




ハイフンは、おそらくコンマと並び、 書き手にとって最も悩みの種となる句読点法です。その理由は、ハイフンに類似するものが話し言葉に存在しないからかもしれません。それは、印刷物における必要性からのみ生まれてきたものなのです。ハイフンの本質は、読み手に曖昧さを与えないようにすることにあります。



(正)the well-known actor                        (訳:有名な役者)
(誤)the well known actor                         (訳:調子が良い、知られた役者)

この例では、複合語「well-known」が「actor」を修飾しています。ハイフンは、「well」が修飾するのが 「known」だけであり、「actor」には適用されないことを示します。つまり、俳優は調子が良くて(well)なおかつ知られている(known)、というわけではないのです。

(正)the out-of-date curriculum               (訳:時代遅れのカリキュラム)
(正)short-term solution                           (訳:短期的な解決策)


(正)He is a small-businessman.              (訳:彼は中小企業のオーナーだ。)
(誤)He is a small businessman.               (訳:彼は小さいビジネスマンだ 。)


(正)A light-green suitcase is pale in color. (訳:薄緑色のスーツケースは淡い色合いである。)

(正) A light green suitcase is not heavy.     (訳:軽い緑色のスーツケースは重くない。)

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Uni-edit English Writing Tip: How to use hyphens correctly (Part A)

Level of difficulty: Advanced

Editors at Uni-edit often need to correct the use of hyphens during English editing of manuscripts. Correct use of hyphens shows the author's advanced command of English and helps to make detailed descriptions clear.

The hyphen, which is a very short horizontal line that looks like this '-', is very helpful to disambiguate modified words, which will make your writing clearer. Hyphens are used often in all academic writing in English.

Hyphens cause writers more trouble than any other form of punctuation, except perhaps commas. This may be because the hyphen has no analogue in speech; it is punctuation created purely by the needs of print. The point of the hyphen is to avoid ambiguity for the reader.

Let's look at some common uses and misuses:

Create a compound word using a hyphen

Correct: the well-known actor

Incorrect: the well known actor


In this example, 'well-known' is a compound word that modifies 'actor'. The hyphen indicates that the 'well' applies to only the 'known' and does not apply to the 'actor'. That is, it is the actor is not both well and known.

Correct: the out-of-date curriculum
Correct: short-term solution

Make the modification clear using a hyphen       

Correct: He is a small-businessman.
Incorrect: He is a small businessman.

Above, to indicate that it is the business that is small, and not the man who is small, we need the hyphen. Below is another example, where both situations are correct but have different meanings.

Correct: A light-green suitcase is pale in color.

Here the suitcase's color is described.

Correct: A light green suitcase is not heavy.

Here the suitcase is both light in weight and is green.