1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    'up to date' after to-be verbs ... and as an adverb

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 21, 2014.

    Do we hyphenate 'up to date,' as an adjective, before a to-be verb? Different sources say different things.

    Example:

    The report is up-to-date.

    And, if 'up to date' is used as an adverb, do we leave out the hyphens? (See below.)

    She brought me up to date on the project.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with both examples. In the first case, "up-to-date" is an adjective (like "well-known"), so it needs hyphens. In the second case, it's modifying a verb, so no hyphens are needed.
     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks.

    That's where it's confusing. When do you know when to and when not to hyphenate after a verb?

    Example:

    He was ill-at-ease.
    The technology was cutting-edge and state-of-the-art.

    It's tricky. Not sure whether those should be hyphenated after to-be verbs.
     
  4. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    It becomes not only more up to date but also more accurate.

    He stayed up to date on current affairs.

    He brought me up to date on the crisis.

    He remained up to date.

    He was brought up to date on the crisis.


    Can we eliminate the hyphens in up to date in these examples as well? It's functioning adverbially, right? Do you agree that all bolded examples above should have an unhyphenated 'up to date' in them?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Actually, I'm going to have to go back and think about the examples again. Damn grammar!

    In the meantime, here's what the Chicago Manual of Style says:
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    they should not be hyphenated unless used as adjectives... and used after the verb, as in that example, they can't be an adjective...
     
  7. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Think of it this way: if you replace "date" with "speed" or any other word/phrase, can you do the same thing?

    "The report is up-to-speed," "The report is "up-to-snuff," "The report is up-to-standards," "The report is up-to-our-expectations," "The report is down-with-its-bad-self," all look really weird and are all incorrect. Functionally, all of these words that replace "date" (or, in the last case, "up to date") serve the same function and so should be treated and punctuated the same.

    You could say "The up-to-date report is informative," since that's an adjective. But used after a noun like that, and that compound adjective breaks up into three smaller words. You just have "The report is [preposition] [article] [adjective]," not "The report is [hyphenated adjective]."

    Same could be applied to any likewise adjective such as "face to face," "toe to toe," or "month to month."
     
  8. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    TY.
     

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