“Middle class” or “Middle-class”? Learn if “Middle class” is hyphenated

The hyphenation rules in the English language can be tricky to wrap your head around. Luckily, we’re here to help! Today, we’re asking the question, is middle class hyphenated? And if so, when do you use middle-class or middle class. Surely in some cases, you’d use one over the other, right.

Middle class or Middle-class – Hyphenated or not?

We hyphenate middle class when the two words are joined together to modify a noun. If a noun comes directly after the word, we will use “middle-class.” However, the words are kept separate when we’re using them at the end of a sentence or clause and thus when it doesn’t modify a noun.

Examples of when to use “Middle class.”

Now is a good time to look through a few examples to see when we don’t hyphenate “middle class.” Since we’re not modifying any nouns, you’ll mostly see the word “middle class” come at the end of a sentence or clause, though there are a few exceptions where it might be used at the start.

  • The middle class doesn’t have the same issues as we do.
  • There isn’t much room for you in the middle class.
  • We are part of the middle class.
  • This is the middle class.
  • Why can’t the middle class do more for the environment?

Examples of when to use “Middle-class.”

That’s pretty much summed up what happens without the hyphen, but what about when we do have a hyphen? Well, we’re now going to see how the adjective form “middle-class” is used to modify the nouns in each of these examples.

  • The middle-class people can’t afford these losses.
  • This is a middle-class problem.
  • We are middle-class students.
  • This is a middle-class home.
  • We can’t use the middle-class system.

Is Middle class hyphenated AP style?

AP Style rules tell us that hyphens are considered “joiners.” They “join” together with two closely linked words to portray an apparent meaning to the reader. If two words are used to modify a noun (like middle-class would if a noun proceeded it), then the hyphen is necessary. However, if the words aren’t needed to hyphenate, then “middle” would be the adjective, and “class” would be the modified noun.

Should I capitalize “Class” in the word “Middle-class”?

Title capitalization rules can be tricky to wrap your head around. There are three main ways to capitalize, and each one depends on the required style and your personal preferences. At first glance, hyphens seem to make capitalization even harder, but actually, it’s not that bad. So long as you know which rule you’re following, you should be able to figure out capitalization!

The first title style is to capitalize the first word and proper nouns only. In this case, neither “middle” nor “class” are capitalized in the title (unless “middle” appears as the first word). The second style includes capitalizing every word in the title, except for article and short words (prepositions and conjunctions). In this style, “middle” is capitalized, but “class” is not.

The final style is to capitalize every word in the title. This is seen as the more informal choice of the three, but naturally, both “middle” and “class” will be capitalized in this style.

Alternatives to “Middle class.”

There’s one thing you can do if you’re still not quite ready for the hyphenation rules! There are loads of alternative words out there that you can always make use of! We’ll include some of the best ones here so you can pick through them and choose which ones work the best for you.

  • Bourgeois
  • Plain folks
  • Ordinary
  • Proletariat
  • Humble

Quiz – Middle class or Middle-class?

Now that we’ve covered all we need to about the middle class hyphen rule, it’s time to quiz yourself. Tell us whether it’s middle class or middle-class and compare your answers at the end! We’re sure you’ll do well now that you’ve seen all that we’ve written for you!

  1. We are part of the (A. middle class / B. middle-class).
  2. This is a (A. middle class / B. middle-class) problem.
  3. The (A. middle class / B. middle-class) don’t have these same issues.
  4. The (A. middle class / B. middle-class) system makes do with these changes.
  5. These are (A. middle class / B. middle-class) people.

Quiz answers

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