“Well-known” or “Well known”? (Hyphenation Rules & Best Practice)

Hyphenated words crop up a lot in English, and it’s important to get the hang of them early while you’re learning. We’ll look at whether it’s well-known or well known in this article and find out is well-known hyphenated?

Well-Known Or Well Known – Hyphenated Or Not?

The well-known hyphen rule is applied when using “well-known” to modify a noun or an object in a sentence. We use “well known” without a hyphen when we’re not modifying a noun and instead use it as its own standalone phrase noun.

Examples Of When To Use “Well-Known”

We’ve covered the differences and when to use well known or well-known, so now it’s time to put it into practice. We’ll give you a few examples of each so that you can see how they’re used in real life. We find that examples with new words are one of the best ways to learn about new rules because it puts you in the position to try and figure out the context, and you learn the meaning a lot better this way.

  • I am a well-known celebrity.
  • I’m from a well-known country.
  • You are a well-known lawyer.
  • Are there any well-known farmers?
  • I wish I were a well-known person.

Examples Of When To Use “Well Known”

We use “well known” without a hyphen when it isn’t modifying an adjective. Generally, that means that we only use it at the end of a clause. Let’s find out what we mean by that.

  • You are well known.
  • This school is well known.
  • We are well known.
  • You couldn’t be more well known if you tried.
  • This information is well known.

Is Well-Known Hyphenated AP Style?

The AP stylebook teaches us a lot, and it’s great at teaching us how to hyphenate, too. The stylebook suggests that hyphens are “joiners” that connect to closely linked words to help the reader comprehend. The linked words are used as an adjective to modify a noun or object in the sentence. If we don’t link the words, then it is assumed that there isn’t a noun to modify, and the words become their own phrase noun instead.

Should I Capitalize “Known” In The Word “Well-Known”?

As if the hyphen rules weren’t confusing enough, now we’ve got to worry about capitalization rules in titles too. Thankfully, they’re not as bad as you might think, and most of the rules applied come from your choice of style when you title your writing. Depending on your tone, you might use one of three ways to capitalize a title, and each way uses a different method to capitalize “well-known.”

The first way is to capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns in the title. In this instance, you wouldn’t capitalize either word in “well-known.” The only exception would be if the first word in the title is “well-known,” in which case, “well” is capitalized, but “known” is not. The second style capitalizes all words except for short prepositions, short conjunctions, and articles. In this case, “well” is always capitalized, but “known” never is.

The third and final way to capitalize a title is by capitalizing every word in it, regardless of length. In this case, both words in “well-known” are always capitalized no matter what. So, whichever title style applies to you is the one you should refer to from now on!

Alternatives To “Well-Known”

We’ve looked at all the rules for well-known vs well known now, but it’s not over just yet! If you’re still struggling with the hyphenation rules, there’s one last thing you can do. Alternative words are a great way to familiarize yourself with a new word while not having to worry about the potentially confusing language rules that come with it.

  • Familiar
  • Famous
  • Popular
  • Conventional
  • Established

Quiz – Well-Known Or Well Known?

And to finish off, let’s do a quick quiz to see what you’ve learned from our article! The answers are included at the end.

  1. He is a (A. well-known / B. well known) individual.
  2. All celebrities are (A. well-known / B. well known) in their circles.
  3. I go to a (A. well-known / B. well known) college.
  4. She has a (A. well-known / B. well known) boyfriend.
  5. They say he’s quite (A. well-known / B. well known).

Quiz Answers

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