Family Owned Or Family-Owned? Learn If “Family Owned” Is Hyphenated

Hyphen rules in English are a lot of fun to learn about. The best part about them is that when you understand how hyphens work for one word, you’ll understand how they all work. So, let’s look at the simple question today. Is family owned hyphenated?

Family Owned Or Family-Owned – Hyphenated Or Not?

When we learn about the family owned hyphen rule, we understand that we hyphenate the two words when using them as an adjective. In the adjective form, we can then modify any nouns or objects that come directly after it. We don’t hyphenate the words when using them as their own phrase noun, and they’re not modifying anything else in the sentence.

Examples Of When To Use “Family Owned”

Now that we’ve sorted out the distinction of family owned or family-owned, it’s time to look through some examples. We’ll start with the unhyphenated version to show you how it would look in a sentence. We’re using it as a phrase noun in each case below, and it isn’t modifying anything else.

  • This ranch is family owned.
  • This home is family owned.
  • The dog is family owned.
  • We’re all family owned.
  • I want my house to be family owned.

Examples Of When To Use “Family-Owned”

So what happens when we use the hyphen, then? Now that we’re writing “family-owned,” we’re instead using the two words together as a way to modify a noun or object in the sentence. This is because the hyphenated form is used as an adjective. However, as English evolves, many people opt to use the hyphenated version no matter what, so it mostly comes down to personal preference.

  • The family-owned barn across the road is out of commission.
  • This is a family-owned hotel.
  • We run a family-owned business.
  • Where are the family-owned funds?
  • You need help with the family-owned farm.

Is Family Owned Hyphenated AP Style?

The AP Stylebook teaches us that hyphenated words act as adjectives. We combine two or more words with hyphens to show the reader what we’re modifying in a sentence. If we don’t use the words in a hyphenated form, we instead write them as a phrase noun.

Should I Capitalize “Owned” In The Word “Family-Owned”?

Capitalization rules make for an interesting inclusion when you look at the hyphen rule. There are three main title styles that you might be familiar with, and it’s up to you which one you prefer. However, each style comes with its own rules about how the hyphenation works, so let’s look a little closer at each one and what we can learn from them.

The first style capitalizes only the first word and proper nouns. Everything else is lower-case, meaning that both “family” and “owned” are left uncapitalized. The second style capitalizes all words except for short prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. You will always capitalize “family” in this style but always leave “owned” lower case.

The final style makes use of capitalizing all words in the title. In this case, you would capitalize both words in “family-owned” no matter what. Even though they’re thought of as one singular word, each word is still capitalized.

Alternatives To “Family Owned”

We’ve covered most of what you need to know about family owned vs family-owned, so it’s time to look at alternatives. If you’re struggling with the rules of hyphenation, then you may find one of these useful. The easiest way to avoid complication and confusion in a language is to find a word that doesn’t follow any confusing rules, so use one of these to help you.

  • familial
  • private
  • family-run (this one still uses a hyphen)
  • domestic

Quiz – Family Owned Or Family-Owned?

The confusion between family-owned or family owned is now out of the way (hopefully). To prove it, we thought we’d give you a quick test to see how well you’ve understood all that we’ve talked about. We’ll include the answers at the end for you to look through as well.

  1. We run a (A. family owned / B. family-owned) business.
  2. They say this school is (A. family owned / B. family-owned).
  3. I’m working with my dad on a (A. family owned / B. family-owned) farm.
  4. That house is (A. family owned / B. family-owned).
  5. These are (A. family owned / B. family-owned) roads.

Quiz Answers

  1. B
  2. A
  3. B
  4. A
  5. B