“World-class” or “World class”? (Hyphenation Rules & Best Practice)

Hyphenation rules are something you have to pay attention to when you want to grasp the English language fully. Words like world-class or world class can be hyphenated depending on how you use them. So is world-class hyphenated?

World-Class Or World Class – Hyphenated Or Not?

When we discuss the world-class hyphen rule, we use the hyphenated form of the word “world-class” to modify a noun or an object in a sentence. The hyphenated word becomes an adjective in the clause. We use “world class” unhyphenated when using it as a phrase noun, and it isn’t modifying any adjectives in the sentence.

Examples Of When To Use “World-Class”

Now that we’ve explored the first instance of world-class vs world class, it’s time to look at a few examples of both. We’ll start with the hyphenated word “world-class,” which we’re using to modify a noun or an object in a sentence. Every time we use it in this way, we include the noun or object directly after the word, which you’ll soon see.

  • This is a world-class university.
  • I support a world-class soccer team.
  • He works at a world-class company.
  • This is a world-class application.
  • You’ll be a world-class sportsman if you keep that up.

Examples Of When To Use “World Class”

When we don’t hyphenate the word and instead leave it as two separate words, we use it as a noun instead. Since it’s two words, it’s called a phrase noun (as a noun is typically only one word). However, it’s worth noting that the popularity of “world class” without a hyphen is wearing thin over the years, and people are opting to use the hyphenated version as both an adjective and a noun.

  • You are world class.
  • This school is world class.
  • They consider me world class.
  • My dog is world class.
  • Those athletes are world class.

Is World-Class Hyphenated AP Style?

AP style guidelines show us how hyphenation should work in English. Typically, we connect closely linked words with each other to show the reader a clearer idea of the meaning they hold. When we hyphenate words according to the AP style rulebook, we’re turning them into an adjective that modifies a noun. We should leave words unhyphenated when we aren’t modifying any nouns in a sentence.

Should I Capitalize “Class” In The Word “World-Class”?

Capitalization rules can throw a new hurdle at you when you’re trying to get the hang of hyphenation rules. Since two words become one word in the hyphenated form of “world-class,” it can confuse what is capitalized when we use them in a title. Thankfully, the answer is a lot more subjective than you might think. It depends entirely on you and your personal style. There are three main title styles to choose from.

The first style capitalizes only the first word and any proper nouns. All other words are left lower case (which will include both words in “world-class”). The second style capitalizes all words except short prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. In this case, “world” is capitalized, but “class” is not. The final way capitalizes all words in the title, meaning both “world” and “class” are capitalized, even though they’re considered one word.

Alternatives To “World-Class”

We’ve covered the major differences you’ll find with world class or world-class, so it’s time to look at some alternatives. Alternatives are a great way for you to replace the hyphenated word if you’re having trouble understanding the rules that come with it! We’ll only include singular words, so you know you don’t have to worry about any hyphen rules.

  • elite
  • outstanding
  • exceptional
  • top
  • prime

Quiz – World-Class Or World Class?

The best way to finish one of these articles is with a quick quiz that’ll test all that you’ve learned. We’ll include five questions for you to try and find the difference between the hyphenated and unhyphenated words. Is it world class or world-class in each of these questions? Don’t worry. We’ve included the answers at the end to help you if you need them.

  1. They say he’s a (A. world-class / B. world class) athlete.
  2. My grades are considered (A. world-class / B. world class).
  3. This is a (A. world-class / B. world class) school. Nowhere else beats it.
  4. She is a (A. world-class / B. world class) lady.
  5. My parents are (A. world-class / B. world class).

Quiz Answers

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