Hyphenations in English make for an interesting addition to typical language rules, though, thankfully, once you learn about one, you learn about them all! So, let’s look at fast-paced or fast paced and ask ourselves the simple question. Is fast-paced hyphenated?
Fast-Paced Or Fast Paced – Hyphenated Or Not?
The fast-paced hyphen rule suggests that we use a hyphen to group the words when used as a modifier for a noun or object in a sentence. We leave the words ungrouped when we’re using them as a standalone noun.
Examples Of When To Use “Fast-Paced”
What do we mean by modifying a noun, then? When we look at fast-paced vs fast paced, it’s important to differentiate between the two. We’ll start with some examples using the hyphenated version so you can see how the nouns are modified.
- We live in a fast-paced home.
- That’s a fast-paced work environment.
- The restaurant has a fast-paced kitchen.
- Our school works to a fast-paced schedule.
- I’m a fast-paced speaker.
Examples Of When To Use “Fast Paced”
Now let’s look at fast paced without the hyphen. Comparing fast paced or fast-paced is easy. If the words come at the end of the clause, we usually always leave them unhyphenated. In each of these examples, you’ll notice that we’re using “fast paced” as a phrase noun. However, it’s worth noting that this variation of “fast-paced” is slowly being phased out of the language. Most people opt for the hyphenated version no matter what.
- We work fast paced.
- This is too fast paced.
- Can this place be more fast paced?
- I haven’t been this fast paced in years.
- We’re all trying to be fast paced.
Is Fast-Paced Hyphenated AP Style?
AP style suggests many English rules for us, and it’s a great book to reference to make sure you’re getting everything right. About hyphens, AP style says they’re used as “joiners” between two or more closely linked words in a sentence. These words are connected by a hyphen and used to modify a noun to help the reader comprehend what they’re reading. If the words are left unhyphenated, then they act as their own phrase noun instead.
Should I Capitalize “Paced” In The Word “Fast-Paced”?
Capitalizing titles adds a whole new spanner in the works when we look through hyphenation rules. With “fast-paced,” we’re often left wondering which of the two words we’re supposed to capitalize since they become one word when a hyphen is used. The answer is simple but needs elaboration. It depends entirely on you and what title style you use when you’re writing. There are three main title styles to choose from.
Style one involves only capitalizing the first word and proper nouns. Unless “fast-paced” is the first word in the title, neither of the words are capitalized in this style. In style two, all words except short prepositions, conjunctions, and articles are capitalized, meaning “fast” always is, but “paced” never is (as they’re part of the same word).
The final style involves capitalizing all words in a title, no matter what. In this case, we’d always capitalize both words in “fast-paced.” Even though they count as one word, this style makes sure to keep them both upper case.
Alternatives To “Fast-Paced”
If you’re still struggling with the fast-paced hyphen rule, there’s one last thing we can recommend for you! Find alternatives that hold the same meaning but don’t require a hyphen to make them work. This way, you don’t have to worry about potentially getting any of the hyphen rules wrong and can instead show off your newfound language skills without fear!
Quiz – Fast-Paced Or Fast Paced?
Let’s finish with a quick quiz to see what you’ve learned from us. You can compare your answers at the end to see if you went wrong anywhere. If you did, just read through the article again to see what you missed!
- Native speakers are always (A. fast-paced / B. fast paced).
- That’s a (A. fast-paced / B. fast paced) race.
- I watched a (A. fast-paced / B. fast paced) thriller the other day.
- That thriller was so (A. fast-paced / B. fast paced).
- We come from a (A. fast-paced / B. fast paced) home life.
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.