Splitting Words at the End of the Line

The rules for splitting words at the end of the line in the English language are quite complicated, and in many cases rather subjective. To be on the safe side -simply avoid doing it. We recommend you to turn off the automatic hyphenation off in your word processor, which is likely to hyphenate in American English where the rules are far more flexible than in British English. If breaking a word is inevitable make sure you put the hyphen after a complete syllable: neg-li-gent. Hyphenating in the middle of a syllable is regarded as a mistake.

For line splits in words ending in -ing, if the final root consonant is doubled before -ing , put the hyphen between the consonants; in other cases hyphenate at the suffix itself:

e.g Dig-ging
      Sing -ing

There are a few "never" rules you should remember when breaking the words at the end of the line:

  • Never break up a one-syllable word.
  • Never hyphenate a word that already has a hyphen.
  • Never split a proper noun (any noun starting with a capital letter).
  • Never leave one or two letters on either line. However, you may use hyphen before the inflexion for the past participle (e.g play-ed) with regular verbs, at the same time it is less common for irregular verbs (e.g brok -en).
  • Never put the first or last letter of a word at the end or beginning of a line.
  • Never start the new line with two-letter suffixes.
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