The following is a reader submission.
How do you write out the age of a person? Is it correct to write: 48-year-old or 48 year-old?
Thanks for the great question. It’s actually a pretty simple answer.
If you use the phrase as a noun, you use hyphens (e.g. The 48-year-old ate at the diner). If you use the phrase as an adjective, you omit the hyphens (e.g. The diner’s patron was 48 years old).
I hope this clears it up for you.
Update (9 Sep 2015): As suggested by Kerry Lewis, you also hyphenate when using a compound adjective:
— Mrs SPaG (@Mrs_SPaG) September 9, 2015
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