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如何正確使用英文連字號(-)

連字號(Hyphens)是一種標點符號,具有多種功能。它可以形成複合形容詞(Compound adjectives)用於修飾名詞,也可以將動詞短語(Phrasal verb)轉為名詞,還可以將起修飾作用的幾個詞連在一起組成形容詞短語(Phrasal adjectives)。

連字號經常用於語法結構比較複雜或使用特殊術語的各種場合,例如文學作品、報紙、學術期刊、科研文章等。需要注意的是,連字號不應與破折號混淆。

連字號的作用是把兩個單字連接起來形成一個複合詞,而破折號表示意思的轉折或對上一句話的解釋。

用於複合形容詞的連字號

複合形容詞的作用是通過兩個詞的組合來修飾一個名詞,其作用就好像是單個形容詞一樣。只有當複合形容詞用於名詞之前時,複合形容詞中才需要使用連字號。當複合形容詞用於名詞之後時,不使用連字號。

在名詞之前使用帶連字號的複合形容詞

例句
The hyper-competitive nature of the financial industry has led to the proliferation of white-collar crime and the lack of well-intentioned financial advisors.

在名詞之前使用不帶連字號的複合形容詞

當複合形容詞中含有一個帶"ly"的副詞和一個形容詞時,不能使用連字號。

錯誤
One overly-saturated area of finance is debt consolidation, which targets mostly-young debt holders such as college students.
正確
One overly saturated area of finance is debt consolidation, which targets mostly young debt holders such as college students.

在名詞之後使用複合形容詞時,不使用連字號

當複合形容詞出現在名詞之後時,無需使用連字號。

錯誤
Plagiarism in online articles is becoming all-too-common.
正確
Plagiarism in online articles is becoming all too common.

用於動詞短語轉為名詞結構的連字號

動詞短語是一種複合動詞,由一個主動詞和跟隨其後的至少一個副詞或介詞組成。動詞短語用來表達一種動作時,無需使用連字號。但是,當動詞短語轉為一個名詞結構來使用時,應當使用連字號把兩個或多個單字連接起來使用,或不使用連字號而直接把兩個單字合併寫成一個單字使用。

用來表達動作的短語動詞 (無須連字號) 用來當作名詞的短語動詞 (帶有連字號/合併為一個單字)

The teacher had to boot up his computer.

The boot-up took longer than usual.

The dealer will bring in the chips to the game.

The poker player had to pay the bring-in.

The fund manager tried to break down the cash statement.

The trading floor listened to the daily breakdown on the news

The trader was not the only one to mix up the order.

The boss had to stay late to solve the mixup.

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用於字首和字尾的連字號

英語中幾乎每個名詞都可能在加上一個字首後改變其含義,所以在字首與名詞之間是否使用連字號,規定也不盡相同。

依據慣例,用於大寫字母、數字和日期之前的字首,需要使用連字號。

經常使用連字號的字首

例句
Most anti-bacterial soaps are effective at killing germs.
例句
The self-service counter was very popular with customers.
例句
He hadn’t seen his ex-girlfriend in many years.

可使用連字號的字首(也可不使用)

無須使用連字號的字首 使用連字號的字首

The celebrity signed the autograph.

The student was on auto-pilot all day.

The scientist used the microscope.

The micro-scale model was too small.

The employee was proactive in finishing work.

The official was very pro-government.

The nonprofit organization helped sick children.

The foundation became non-profit after getting a grant.

必須使用連字號的字首

例句
The Egyptian sculpture dated back to pre-1200 BC.
例句
The mid-December time period is hectic due to Christmas.
例句
The post-WWII period was one of great economic growth.

用於複合詞的連字號

帶連字號的複合詞是由連字號連接的多個詞組成。學生、科研工作者和工業界人士經常遇到大量帶有連字元的技術詞彙。其他常見的帶有連字元的複合詞見於表示層次結構中的排名或排序。

用於技術字彙的包含字元的複合詞例子

例句
The strength-to-weight ratio needs to be increased.
例句
The phase-contrast microscope will be delivered soon.
例句
The researcher used Python to analyze the time-dependent variable.

用於層次結構的包含一個字元的複合詞

例句
Her father-in-law did not appreciate her cooking.
例句
The editor-in-chief rejected the headline.

用於澄清含義的連字號

連字元還可以用於澄清含義,在某些情況下消除歧義。

有連字號/沒有連字號的單字 說明

The worker decided to resign her contract.

The worker did not renew her employment.

The worker decided to re-sign her contract.

The worker did renew her employment.

His wallet had twenty five dollar bills.

$100 total in bills.

His wallet had twenty-five dollar bills.

$25 total in bills.

He just saw a man eating chicken.

He saw a human male eating some chicken.

He just saw a man-eating chicken.

He saw a monstrous chicken that eats humans.

連字號與破折號的區別

破折號(短劃線)是表示意思轉折的標點符號,它也可以用於表示對上一句進行補充解釋說明的語句。最常見用來表示思想上的突然改變、延伸或解釋前一句話的上下文。

破折號還在空間有限的場合把詞彙隔開。例如,破折號可以將學術期刊、報告和報紙中出現在單列中的句子結尾處較長單詞連接在一起。