Should you write 13-feet or 13 feet? Here is the rule: when you’re combining two or more words to form a compound adjective in front of a noun, put hyphens between these words.
Lara handed me a 15-foot pole.
An eighteen-inch monitor is too big for my desk.
Emergency room nurses work 12-hour shifts.
Anthony swung his five-pound hammer.
In the above sentences, the measurements are compound adjectives describing nouns.
When numbers are not used as compound adjectives preceding nouns, don’t use a hyphen. (But remember, all two-word numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine must be hyphenated in all cases.)
Suzanne won the race by a solid 15 feet.
The room was 17 feet long.
Twelve hours later, he was exhausted.
Anthony’s hammer weighs five pounds.
To learn more about hyphens, click here.
Correct or incorrect?
1. Stella had her hair cut six-inches last week.
2. Her party shoes had three inch heels.
3. Can you lend me your five-foot tape measure?
4. I am 5-feet-2-inches in my bare feet.
5. The water level rose 10-inches in just three hours.
Pop Quiz Answers
1. Stella had her hair cut six inches last week.
2. Her party shoes had three-inch heels.
3. Can you lend me your five-foot tape measure? (Correct)
4. I am 5 feet 2 inches in my bare feet.
5. The water level rose 10 inches in just three hours.
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at 10:45 am193 Comments on Hyphens with Numbers