“High-quality” or “High quality”? Learn if “High quality” is hyphenated

Some compound modifiers are often either hyphenated or written without hyphenation e.g high-quality vs high quality. Each style of writing these modifiers suits a specific case scenario I’ll explain later. But despite that, many editors and writers will use high-quality and high quality and other similar modifiers interchangeably, sometimes obliviously breaking critical grammar rules. Is it “high quality” or “high-quality?” How about finding that out below:

High-quality or High quality – Hyphenated or not?

Both are correct, depending on the case scenario. If the phrase precedes a noun, then it should be hyphenated. If it comes after a noun, you don’t need to hyphenate the phrase despite it being a compound adjective.

1st Case Scenario Example: High-quality books were dispatched to the school last year.

2nd Case Scenario Example: Last year, the school received a dispatch of books of high quality.

Is High quality hyphenated AP Style?

AP Style guidelines have required hyphenation for compound modifiers if they precede a noun until after the recent update. According to the update, no hyphen is necessary for a compound modifier that appears before a noun as long as;

  • the modifier is often recognized as a single phrase.
  • the meaning is clear without hyphenation.

Should I Capitalize The First Letters of Both Words Or Only The First Letter of The First Word In a Hyphenated Compound Adjective Title?

Which do you think is correct among the following titles that include “high quality” as a modifier?

1. High Quality Displays for Sale

2. High quality Displays for Sale

3. High-Quality Displays for Sale

4. High-quality Displays for Sale?

If you are following AP Style, the first title is correct. However, if you’re following any other acceptable editing style, the third title is.

Examples of When To Use “High quality”

You may use “High quality” after the subject e.g;

1. These boots are of high quality.

2. The price indicates high quality.

Examples of when to use “High-quality”

The most important thing here is the editing style you choose to use. If you choose AP style, then you should no longer use “High-quality.” Instead, use “High quality.” However, if you pick any other acceptable editing style, you are at liberty to use “High-quality. ” Make sure the phrase precedes the noun. See the following examples:

At the beginning of a sentence on its own:

1. High-quality gumboots are pretty hard to find these days.

2. High-quality gumboots can cost anywhere between $5-$20.

Alternatives to “High quality”

You may use “High Quality”, ” Top Notch”, “Good Quality” interchangeably.

Quiz – High quality or High-quality?

Correct answers can be seen under the next heading;

QUIZ 1

A. Top 10 High quality Shoes In 2021(this is a title).

B. Top 10 High Quality Shoes In 2021? (this is a title).

QUIZ 2

A. Shoes of high quality can be pretty difficult to obtain these days.

B. Do you know that shoes of high-quality shoes can be pretty difficult to obtain these days?

QUIZ 3

A. I am going to the city soon. That means I’ll be needing High quality shoes.

B. I am going to the city soon. That means I’ll be needing high quality shoes.

QUIZ 4

A. Top 10 High quality Shoes In 2021(this is a title).

B. Top 10 High Quality Shoes In 2021(this is a title).

QUIZ 5

A. High quality shoes can be pretty difficult to obtain these days.

B. Do you know that High quality shoes can be pretty difficult to obtain these days?

C. Do you know that high quality shoes can be pretty difficult to obtain these days?

QUIZ 6

A. I am going to the city soon. That means I’ll be needing High quality shoes.

B. I am going to the city soon. That means I’ll be needing high quality shoes.

Correct Quiz answers

1. B

2. A

3. B

4. B

5. A

6. B

Conclusion

Writers and editors alike tend to use “High Quality” and “High-Quality” interchangeably across the board. However, the grammar rules dictate that this phrase should only be hyphenated if it precedes the noun or subject in a sentence. If it comes after the noun or subject, hyphenation isn’t necessary. However, the latest AP Style guideline offers the liberty to not use hyphenation in either case scenario.