Hyphen Before Related: “Related” or “-Related”? (2024)

“Related” is a common suffix that you’ll find in words. But, some people wonder if it always needs to be hyphenated. According to some English rules, it does, but there are plenty of others where it doesn’t. This article will give you the definitive answer.

Should There Be A Hyphen Before “Related”?

You should include a hyphen before “related” when you use the word to modify a noun. That noun will come directly after the hyphenated form to help. You do not need to include a hyphen before “related” when there is no modified noun in the sentence.

Hyphen Before Related: “Related” or “-Related”? (1)

Basically, there are a set of hyphenation rules related to the AP Style that you need to understand. It involves learning how hyphens interact with different words to modify the nouns that come after them.

We’ll get to that in a later section, but for now, you can refer to these examples:

  • Noun: This is all work related, which is why I am getting it done now.
  • Adjective: The work-related project is taking much longer than I would have liked!

Related with a hyphen

“Related” is written with a hyphen before it when it is a compound adjective. We can treat “-related” as a suffix, even though it is an official word that allows for a hyphen to be placed between it and the root word. This is a common English rule that must be followed.

You would always have to hyphenate “related” words when they come directly before nouns.

  • Work-related project
  • School-related issue
  • Girl-related problems

However, you also do not need to worry about the hyphen when the nouns do not come directly after it. In the above examples, “project,” “issue,” and “problems” are the nouns we modify, which should help you to understand what we’re talking about.

Here are some more examples to help you out:

  1. I have a few work-related issues that I’ve got to get through tonight.
  2. These event-related plans are all over the place! I need to get them sorted.
  3. I have a wedding-related meeting to go to today! I’m so excited.
  4. Is this a party-related discussion? We’re supposed to keep it secret!

We can refer to the AP Stylebook when we hyphenate words in this way. According to the AP Style, hyphens work as linkers between multiple words. If those words all connect to modify the same noun, a hyphen is required when we want to demonstrate this.

Without a hyphen, whatever word comes before “related” would end up being the modifier. That could get very confusing for some readers. For example:

  • Correct: Work-related issue
  • Incorrect: Work related project

We used boldface to highlight the adjectives in each case. The first example clearly shows that “work-related” modifies “issue.” The second example shows that “work” modifies “related,” which means that “project” doesn’t get modified.

Related without a hyphen

You do not need to hyphenate “related” words when they are not used to modify a noun. If the noun does not come directly after it, it’s likely that you should keep the hyphen out of it. Some people still like to include the hyphen, though (it’s based mainly on style choice).

In AP Style, the hyphenated form makes sense whether there’s a noun present or not. However, in other writing styles, it’s suitable to drop the hyphen when it is not relevant to the modification in the sentence.

So, technically, both of the following are correct:

  • AP Style: This is all work-related.
  • Other Styles: This is all work related.

However, if in doubt, it would make more sense just to keep it unhyphenated because there are more styles that follow this rule than those that don’t.

When it is unhyphenated, “work related” (or any “related” word) becomes a noun rather than an adjective. This is the important distinction you need to make between them.

Check these examples out to help you:

  1. I am not doing anything school related for the rest of the week!
  2. Work related or not; I’m not going out there to do something so reckless.
  3. I think you should look into something more family related that we can all take part in with you.
  4. I don’t have time for any of this business. It’s far too work related for me to have fun with it!

Hyphen Before Related: “Related” or “-Related”? (2)

Martin Lassen

Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.

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  3. Much needed or Much-needed? (Hyphen Rule Explained)
  4. High quality or High-quality? (Helpful Examples)
Hyphen Before Related: “Related” or “-Related”? (2024)


Hyphen Before Related: “Related” or “-Related”? ›

You can say, "I have a computer-related problem." Here the adjective describes the noun that follows. However, you can say, "The problem is computer related." This would not have a hyphen because it does not precede the noun.

When to use a dash with the word "related"? ›

To make a two-word adjective

If you're writing about pollution caused by automobiles, you may write "automobile-related" pollution. It can be seen that both the words "automobile" and "related" describe the kind of pollution (i.e., they function as one adjective), so they should be hyphenated.

Is client-related hyphenated? ›

Yes, hyphen and capital R. "Client-Related" is a unit modifier, and unit modifiers should be hyphenated. What that means is that "client" is functioning as an adverb and modifes "related" rather than "processes." To make this relationship clear, the hyphen is used.

How to use the word "related"? ›

Examples of related in a Sentence

ancient history and other related subjects I just found out that my best friend and I are related through distant cousins. Horses and donkeys are related. The words “play” and “playful” are related.

Is healthcare related hyphenated? ›

Healthcare, one word, started as a replacement for the hyphenated “health-care,” typically used as an adjective. However, today, the most common usage in modern English is "healthcare" as one word.

Do you put a hyphen before related? ›

You can say, "I have a computer-related problem." Here the adjective describes the noun that follows. However, you can say, "The problem is computer related." This would not have a hyphen because it does not precede the noun.

Is work-related hyphenated? ›

Work-related should be written with a hyphen, but I would go for non-work related. You can, of course, avoid this problem by writing not work-related.

Which one is correct related to or related with? ›

Related to should be used when talking about a connection between two things ("I am related to my cousins"). Related with should be used when talking about communication between two things ("this is related with my discussion"). They are not interchangeable phrases.

When to hyphenate a word? ›

The Hyphen
  1. Use a hyphen at the end of a line to divide a word where there is not enough space for the whole word. ...
  2. Use a hyphen to indicate a word spelled out letter by letter. ...
  3. Use a hyphen to join two or more words to form compound adjectives that precede a noun. ...
  4. Use a hyphen to avoid awkward doubling of vowels.

Is climate-related hyphenated? ›

Per Chicago 6.80, “The en dash can be used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements consists of an open compound or when both elements consist of hyphenated compounds.” For example, terms like “cross–Gulf Stream” and “climate change–related” use en dashes because “Gulf Stream” and “climate ...

What is the correct word for related? ›

related in American English

SYNONYMS 1. relevant, affiliated. 2. linked, united, joined.

How do you use relate in grammar? ›

(formal) to give a spoken or written report of something; to tell a story relate something She relates her childhood experiences in the first chapters. relate something to somebody He related the facts of the case to journalists. relate how, what, etc… She related how he had run away from home as a boy.

Is alcohol-related hyphenated? ›

"Alcohol-related crashes". As a general rule, hyphens are customary in compound modifiers.

What are hyphen examples? ›

Hyphens (-)
  • Examples: twenty-nine, two-thirds.
  • Examples: sister-in-law, nine-year-old, mid-July.
  • Example: Maria is a self-conscious writer. ...
  • Example: They shared a very tender and extremely memorable moment.

When to use a hyphen APA? ›

A hyphen is usually used in APA Style when two or more words modify a common noun (and that noun comes after the modifiers), for example, 7-point scale or client-centered counseling.

Should health care provider be hyphenated? ›

Another quick and easy way to remember this rule is if health care precedes another word (health-care professional, organization, team, budget) it should be hyphenated. The same rule applies for other words. For example: evidence-based practice, knowledge-based profession, three-day conference.

What are the 4 uses of dashes? ›

  • To set off material for emphasis. Think of dashes as the opposite of parentheses. ...
  • To indicate sentence introductions or conclusions. You can sometimes use a dash to help readers see that certain words are meant as an introduction or conclusion to your sentence. ...
  • To mark “bonus phrases.” ...
  • To break up dialogue.

What is the rule for using the dash? ›

Dashes and parentheses indicate an “aside” to the point you are making in your sentence. Although sometimes considered interchangeable, each serves a specific purpose in your writing. Dashes interrupt your writing to insert an interjection or pause, while parentheses gently add information to your point.

When should you hyphenate words? ›

Most often, you will hyphenate between two or more adjectives when they come before a noun and act as a single idea. This is the most common use of the hyphen. brightly lit room (Do not hyphenate: Brightly is an adverb describing lit, not an adjective.)

When should a dash be used? ›

Dashes function in two ways: to signal interruptions in a sentence (basically like parentheses), and to connect independent clauses.

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