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Note 41 – ‘Re’ with or without a hyphen

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link –  If you would prefer to dive straight into note 41, then please read on…

Re or Re-

There are some good rules for remembering whether or not to use a dash after ‘re’.

1. Using re with the dash

Use re without the dash except where letter collissions occur or there is confusion over the meanings, according to Collins Improve Your Punctuation.  Here are some of my examples:

(a) Use re- where there are letter collisions:

  • re-edit couldn’t be reedit
  • re-educate couldn’t be reeducate

(b) Use re- where there is confusion over meanings; where the word you are joining it to wouldn’t make sense without and would give it a different meaning:

  • re-serve has a different meaning to reserve
  • re-form has a different meaning to reform
  • re-create has a different meaning to recreate

2. Using re without the dash

You would use re without a dash most of the time except for the above reasons.  Here are some words starting with re when they are a single word only (i.e. no dash):

  • Revise
  • Rewrite
  • Revamp
  • Reapply
  • Reverse
  • Reinvent

I love weekends; hope you are enjoying yours. 

Until tomorrow…


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Twitter: @madeirasandra  and  @tipsandluxuries 

Reference list

Graham King The Collins Improve your Punctuation, UK


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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