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Thread: re-open or reopen

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    543

    Default re-open or reopen

    Dear All,

    Can you tell me how i would know that I need or not to use dash to connect a prefix (e.g. re-) to a verb (e.g. open).

    Please refer to these:

    Please advise if we need to re-open the ticket or create a new one.
    Please advise if we need to reopen the ticket or create a new one.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    4,852

    Default

    reopen

    is already in the dictionary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    543

    Default

    So i cannot use re-open, re-fax, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8,456

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie View Post
    So i cannot use re-open, re-fax, etc.
    When in doubt check the dictionary. I do it all the time.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie View Post
    Dear All,

    Can you tell me how i would know that I need or not to use dash to connect a prefix (e.g. re-) to a verb (e.g. open).

    Please refer to these:

    Please advise if we need to re-open the ticket or create a new one.
    Please advise if we need to reopen the ticket or create a new one.

    Many thanks.
    I can offer you a guide (but there are exceptions) as follows:
    If a word already exists which consists of re+????? the you should use re-, so that the two words are no confused.

    Examples:
    There is a verb to repress. However if you want to press something again then you should write re-press .
    There is averb to resort (to). However if you want to sort something again then you should write re-sort.
    There is a verb to release. However if you want to lease something (an apartment for example) again then you should write re-lease.

    Also, it is very common to use the hyphen with words starting with the letter "e". re-elect, re-educate, re-edit, re-export, etc.

    As I said, it is a guide, so there are exceptions / alternatives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    657

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie View Post
    So i cannot use re-open, re-fax, etc.
    When "re" precedes a vowel, some people use a hyphen, e.g.

    1. re-open, re-activate, re-insure

    Also where more common homonyms exist:

    2. He represents a constituency in the north of England. [is the representative of]
    3. The cheque will be re-presented up to 3 times. [presented again]

    Also where the "re" word is not very common, and may confuse the reader:

    4. He re-upped the ante.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

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