Compound nouns

While compound nouns are almost always properly written as one word in Swedish, in English they may be written in three different ways: as one word, as two words, or (much more rarely) with a hyphen. For each individual compound, there is usually a preferred way to write it, which you must simply learn.

No: highschool

Yes: high school

No: tea pot

Yes: teapot

No: T shirt

Yes: T-shirt

Note that whenever a multiple-word expression, such as a compound, is used as an adjective, all spaces must be replaced with hyphens:

No: an air raid siren

Yes: an air-raid siren

As an aside, do not put any spaces around hyphens. The only time you put a space after a hyphen is when there is ellipsis and the second part of the compound is left off:

No: The city is mostly one- and two- story houses.

Yes: The city is mostly one- and two-story houses.

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