The University of Oxford Style Guide
Hilary term 2016
If using ‘from’ with a start date/time, always use ‘to’ to indicate the end date/
time rather than an n-dash; alternatively, just use an n-dash without ‘from’.
- Michaelmas term runs from October to December.
- Michaelmas term runs October–December.
Use to link concepts or ranges of numbers, with no spaces either side.
- German–Polish non-aggression pact
When to use a hyphen
In an adjectival phrase before a noun
- the up-to-date list
- The value of a first-class degree is indisputable.
- a hot-air balloon
- ‘Rethinking provincialism in mid-nineteenth-century narrative fiction: Villette from our village’
- The Department for Continuing Education offers lots of part-time courses.
In an adjectival phrase including a verb participle
- The jumper was tight-fitting.
When not to use a hyphen
In noun phrases
- Labour Party conference
- The 19th century saw much reform.
To make a new compound noun – if it is a recognisable concept, make it one word; if it isn’t, use two words
- Websites are made up of webpages.
- Send me an email when you’re ready to proceed.
In an adjectival phrase that does not precede a noun
- Anyone can study part time at the Department for Continuing Education.
- The list was up to date.
- His marks just scraped into the first class.
In an adjectival phrase before a noun where the first element is an adverb ending in -ly (but note that any other adverbs in adjectival phrases do take a hyphen)
- She had a finely tuned ear for off-key music.
- XML documents must be well-formed texts.
- She was a badly paid apprentice.