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No hyphen when using this suffix.
Use a hyphen with this suffix to form a noun.
Do not use a hyphen with this suffix.
Do not use a hyphen unless the suffix is preceded directly with two Ls.
Consult Webster’s. If not listed in Webster’s, hyphenate. As a verb, two words are often needed.
Consult Webster’s. If not listed in Webster’s, hyphenate this suffix. As a verb, two words are often needed.
Consult Webster’s. If not listed in Webster’s, hyphenate.
No hyphen unless preceded by a proper noun.
Always spell out the full name of a program or organization on first reference. If an acronym will be used later on the document, or if the program or organization is widely known by its abbreviation, write the abbreviation in parentheses after the first reference.
In text, academic degrees should always be spelled out and are not capitalized.
Academic majors should be lowercase except for proper nouns.
Capitalize and spell out formal titles such as 'chancellor', 'chairperson', 'president', etc., only when they precede a name. Lowercase in all other instances.
'Accept' means to receive. 'Except' means to exclude.
Abbreviations, Directional references, Formal correspondence, With other contact information
'Adviser' is the preferred spelling, over 'advisor'.
'Aesthetic' is the preferred spelling.
'Affect', used as a verb, means to influence. 'Effect', used as a verb, means to cause.
As a noun, as a modifier
Always use figures to denote age. Based on context, years or years old is not always required. Ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes require hyphens.
'Aid' is assistance. An 'aide' is a person who serves as an assistant.
Use a hyphen after this prefix.
'All right', not 'alright', is used in formal, edited writing.
To 'allude' to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it. To 'refer' to something is to mention it directly.
An 'allusion' is an indirect reference. An 'illusion' is an unreal or false impression.
Can be used to refer to the school one graduated from or the song of the school attended.
An 'altar' is a table-like platform, typically one used in a religious service. To 'alter' is to change.
Use 'alumnus' for an individual male, 'alumna' for an individual female, 'alumni' for a group of males or a mixedgender group, and 'alumnae' for a group of females.
AM stands for the amplitude modulation system of radio transmission. Used with numbers, a.m. designates time between midnight and noon.
Use 'among' when comparing three or more items; 'between' when comparing two items, even if one contains multiple parts. Do not use 'amongst'.
Avoid this phrase. Reword the sentence if needed.
Lowercase unless part of a proper name.
Something is annual if it has occurred in at least two successive years. When referring to the first occurrence of an event, use 'inaugural'.
Hyphenate all except the following, which have their own specific meanings: antibiotic. antibody. anticlimax. antidote. antifreeze. antigen. antihistamine. antiknock. antimatter. antimony. antiparticle. antipasto. antiperspirant. antiphon. antiphony. antiseptic. antiserum. antithesis. antitoxin. antitrust. antitussive.
Consult Webster’s for specific instances not addressed here.
'Anticipate' means to expect and prepare for something. 'Expect' does not include preparation.
'Appendixes' is preferred over 'appendices' as the plural of 'appendix'.
No hyphen after this prefix unless it precedes a capitalized word.
See 'like, as' entry.
When used to mean “according to,” use 'per'. Or better, use 'according to'.
'Assure' means to convince someone or make a person sure of something. 'Ensure' means to guarantee. Insure refers to insurance.
Something is based on or upon something else, not based around or based off of.
Capitalize both words to refer to the region surrounding the San Francisco Bay. On first reference, especially when writing for a national audiences, it is advised to specify San Francisco Bay Area, because other regions may also
have bay areas.
Use 'because' to denote a specific cause-effect relationship. Use 'since' when the first event led logically to the second event, without directly causing it to occur.
benefit, benefited, benefiting
'Beside' means at the side of. 'Besides' means in addition to.
See prefixes entry for rules. In general, no hyphen.
'Biannual' means twice a year (same as semiannual). 'Biennial' means every two years.
'Bimonthly' typically means every other month. 'Semimonthly' means twice a month. Webster’s lists both every other month and twice a month as acceptable definitions of bimonthly, so to avoid confusion, use “once every two months” or “every other month.”
'Biweekly' typically means every other week. 'Semiweekly' means twice a week. Webster’s lists both every other week and twice a week as acceptable definitions of biweekly, so to avoid confusion, use “every two weeks” and “every other week.”
Capitalize when used as part of the official names Board of Directors of the Foundation for California Community Colleges and Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. Do not capitalize in all other cases.
Italicize and capitalize the titles of books.
'Break in' is the verb. Use 'break-in' for the noun or adjective.
'Break up' is the verb. Use 'break-up' as a noun or adjective.
'Build up' is the verb. Use 'build-up' for the noun or adjective.
Lowercase 'state of' in all cases, except for when it is part of the official name of a government agency.
These are the target participants for the Foundation’s TANF–CDC and ELSRAP programs. Do not use: welfare recipients, welfare mothers, government aid recipients.
cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation
A 'cannon' is a weapon. A 'canon' is a standard or criterion, or more literally, a law or rule, particularly of a church.
A 'capitol' is the building in which a legislature holds its sessions
and is usually capitalized (lowercase when using in a general sense, like the beginning of this sentence). 'Capital' is the proper word for all other cases, including the city in which a government is located.
In instances not addressed below, or if in doubt, do not capitalize.
Proper nouns, academic degrees, formal titles and job titles, names of companies/organizations, with abbreviations, calendars and time, emphasis, titles and headlines.
When using photos from the College Seen Photo Contest, always include the student’s name, college, and “College Seen Photo Contest [year].” When appropriate, also include Grand Prize Winner, First Place, or Honorable Mention.
Lowercase unless part of a proper name. Spell out and lowercase numbers less than 10.
Preferred over 'chairman', 'chairwoman', and 'chair'.
Do not capitalize “city of” constructions unless part of a proper noun. Capitalize “city” if it is part of an official city name or when referring to the government agency.
This phrase is redundant, since proximity means 'nearness'. Instead, use 'close to' or 'in proximity' to.
Use a hyphen when forming nouns, adjectives, and verbs that indicate occupation or status. In other combinations, do not use the hyphen unless a new word would be formed.
Use singular verbs and pronouns with nouns that represent a unit. Nouns that are plural in form become collective nouns and take singular verbs when regarded as one unit.
When referring to a California Community College, always use the proper full name on first reference.
Use a serial comma after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before 'and' or 'or'.
Use 'compared to' when the intent is to assert, without need for elaboration, that two or more items are similar. Use 'compared with' when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities or differences.
'Complement' can be used as a noun or verb to signify completion or supplementation. 'Compliment' is used as a noun or verb to denote praise or the expression of courtesy.
'Compose' means to create or put together. 'Comprise' means to contain, include all, or embrace, and is typically used as an active verb. 'Constitute' means to form or make up and is commonly used when compose and comprise don’t work. Use 'include' when what follows is only a part of the whole.
'Connote' means to suggest something beyond the meaning of the word or phrase. 'Denote' points out the actual meaning.
See 'compose, comprise, constitute, include' entry.
'Continual' refers to a steady repetition. 'Continuous' means steady and uninterrupted.
control, controlled, controlling
With 'convince', use “that” or “of.” With persuade, use “to.”
counsel, counseled, counseling, counselor
'Cover up' is the verb. 'Cover-up' is the noun and adjective.
Do not use "The novel coronavirus" or "the coronavirus."
When referring to COVID-19, use "pandemic" not "epidemic".
'Cross section' is the noun. 'Cross-section' is the verb.
'Cut off' is the verb. 'Cutoff' is the noun and adjective.
'Data' is a plural noun, and usually takes plural verbs and pronouns.
Numbers, decades, time span, days
'Daylong' is one word when used before the noun it is describing.
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier.
Do not abbreviate days of the week when referring to a day alone or a date in text. Abbreviations are acceptable when the date appears on its own.
'Dead end' is a noun. 'Dead-end' is the adjective.
When spelling out decades in text, do not capitalize. When using figures to indicate decades of history, add an -s. Use an apostrophe to show that figures have been left off.
See 'connote, denote' entry.
Capitalize only when part of a proper name. Do not capitalize on second reference.
Preferred over 'dependant'.
To 'differ from' means to be unlike. To 'differ with' means to disagree.
Use 'from' with different, not 'than'.
Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc., in text. Hyphenate when used as an adjective.
In general, lowercase 'north', 'south', 'northeast', etc., except when they designate regions or are part of a proper name. In names of nations, lowercase unless it is part of a proper name.
If a job title is used after the individual’s name and could be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence (usually set off in commas), capitalize elements four letters or longer. If the job title is used after the name in running text and cannot be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence, do not capitalize the title.
See prefixes entry for rules. In general, no hyphen
'Disinterested' means impartial. 'Uninterested' means lacking interest.
Means “for example.” 'E.g.' is sometimes confused with i.e., meaning “that is.” Either can be used to clarify a preceding statement, the first by example, the second by restating the idea more clearly or expanding upon it. Follow
with a comma. Do not use 'e.g.' with 'etc.' in the same list; it is redundant.
Use a singular verb with this noun.
Use 'each other' when there are two people; 'one another' when there are more than two. If number is unknown, either phrase can be used.
See 'affect, effect' entry.
Usually redundant. Use just 'result'.
See 'assure, ensure, insure' entry
'Envelop' is a verb. Forms include enveloping and enveloped. 'Envelope' is a noun denoting something that envelops.
equal, equaled, equaling
See 'aesthetic, esthetic' entry.
Abbreviation for et cetera, meaning “and other things.” Usually at the end of a list and preceded with a comma. It is also followed with a comma unless it closes a sentence. Do not use e.g. with etc. in the same list; it is redundant.
'Every day' is an adverb. 'Everyday' is an adjective.
See 'accept, except' entry.
See 'anticipate, expect' entry.
Do not use a hyphen when using the prefix to mean “outside of” unless it is followed by a word beginning with an “a” or a proper noun. Use a hyphen when forming a compound modifier describing a condition beyond usual size, extent, or degree.
When used to mean “out of,” do not use a hyphen. When used to mean “former,” use a hyphen. Do not capitalize when used before a proper noun. “Former” is preferred. ex-President Nixon.
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier before the noun.
Used as a noun, 'fallout' is one word, no hyphen. Otherwise, use two words.
'Farther' refers to physical distance. 'Further' refers to an extension of time or degree.
Capitalize when part of a formal name. Otherwise, lowercase.
In general, use 'fewer' for individual items and 'less' for bulk or quantity.
Always lowercase, even when used before the individual’s name.
'Fiscal' is used for budgetary matters. 'Monetary' is used for money supply.
Preferred over 'flyer'. 'Flyer' is acceptable when part of a proper noun.
'Follow up' is the verb. 'Follow-up' is the noun and adjective.
Use 'forecast' also for the past tense, not forecasted.
To 'forego' is to go before. To 'forgo' is to abstain from.
Spelling out, figures, with verbs
Hyphenate this prefix to form a compound modifier. Consult Webster’s for specific cases
Use as one word in all cases (Recent AP style change calls for no hyphen in any construction.).
See 'farther, further' entry.
Do not use gender-specific terms such as policeman, waitress, stewardess, mankind. Instead, use police officer, server (food server), flight attendant, humanity. Avoid personification, i.e., giving living attributes to objects.
Always lowercase and never abbreviated. The exception is for proper nouns.
Capitalize proper names of government agencies, but lowercase modifiers that aren’t proper nouns.
When referring to grade levels, spell out first through ninth grades. For grades 10 and higher, use the figures 10th, 11th, and so on. If there are several numbers in the same sentence modifying the same kind of item or group, treat them consistently.
Do not capitalize 'grade point average' in text. Use 'GPA' only on subsequent reference.
Capitalize when used to define a city and its surrounding region.
Takes singular verbs and pronouns.
'He' is used as a subject, while 'him' is used as an object in a sentence. When using 'he' or 'him' as one of two subjects or objects, an easy tip is to use the one that makes sense when the other subject is omitted.
Avoid this phrase. Use 'they' instead.
Use two words for both the noun and adjective forms.
'She' is used as a subject, while 'her' is used as an object in a sentence. When using 'she' or 'her' as one of two subjects or objects, an easy tip is to use the one that makes sense when the other subject is omitted.
Means in a hopeful manner, not "it is hoped" or "we hope".
See 'me, myself, I' entry.
Means "that is" and is followed by a comma.
Writers or speakers imply in the words they use. The audience infers something from the words.
When used to mean "not", do not use a hyphen. In some cases, however, a hyphen is needed. Consult Webster’s for specific cases.
Not 'in regards to'. Also acceptable: regarding.
See 'annual, inaugural' entry.
See 'compose, comprise, constitute, include' entry
'Indexes' is preferred over 'indices' as the plural of index
Use periods in between initials when used in place of a first name. No spaces within the initials, but a space is required after the last period.
Preferred over enquire, enquiry.
See 'assure, ensure, insure' entry.
In general, no hyphen.
Lowercase unless referring to the Foundation’s Intranet.
'It’s' is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.” 'Its' shows possession.
'Lay' is an action verb and requires a direct object (other tenses: laid, laying).
'Lie' denotes a state of reclining horizontally and does not take a direct object. Its past tense is 'lay'. Other tenses: lain, lying. When using 'lie' to mean a falsehood, the verb forms are: lie, lied, lying.
See 'fewer, less' entry.
See 'lay, lie' entry
Follow with a hyphen when used to mean “similar to.” Do not hyphenate words that have meanings of their own.
'Like' is used to compare nouns and pronouns. Use 'as' to introduce clauses.
'Login' is the noun, 'to log in' is the verb. Follow the same rule for 'log on' and 'log off'.
See 'academic majors' entry.
'I' is used as a subject, while 'me' is used as an object in a sentence. 'Myself' can be used as a compound with 'I', or for emphasis after 'I', but not as a substitute for 'I' or 'me'. When using 'I' or 'me' as one of two subjects or objects, an easy tip is to use the one that makes sense when the other subject is omitted.
Use a hyphen only when the prefix goes before a capitalized word.
Or 12 a.m. Do not use 12 midnight; it is redundant.
For amounts less than $1, use the figure followed by “cents.” For amounts between $1 and $999,999 use $ and the figure. If the amount includes dollars and cents, use two decimal points. For amounts of $1 million or greater, use the figure and up to two decimal points followed by million, billion, etc., or use the exact figure. Do not use a hyphen between figures and “million” or “billion.”
Used as an modifier before the noun, monthlong is one word. Otherwise, break out into two words.
Capitalization, dates, with year
See 'abbreviations and acronyms' and 'titles' entries.
Colleges and universities, individuals
Or 12 p.m. Do not use 12 noon; it is redundant.
Spelling out, ordinal numbers, multiple numbers, expressions, large numbers, in proper names, with commas, with symbols, within direct quotations
Use a hyphen with this prefix.
Preferred over 'okay'.
Consult Webster’s, but in general, do not hyphenate.
Use figures and lowercase page. The abbreviations are p. for page and pp. for pages. Do not abbreviate in running text.
parallel, paralleled, paralleling
See 'as per, per' entry
In text, spell out percent. Use the symbol in parentheses when supplementing text or in tables and charts. Always use a figure with percent.
See 'convince, persuade' entry.
Words ending in -ch, -s, -sh, -ss, -x, and -z; words ending in -is; words ending in -y; words ending in -o; words ending in -f; Latin endings; form change; words as words; proper names; figures; single letters; multiple letters/acronyms
Plural nouns not endin in -s, plural nouns ending in -s, nouns singular in meaning but plural in form, nouns that are the same in singular and plural, singular nouns not ending in -s, singular nouns ending in -s, singular proper nouns ending in -s, pronouns, joint posession
See prefixes entry for rules. Otherwise, consult Webster’s. If not listed, hyphenate.
See individual listings for specific prefixes. The general rule of prefixes is to use a hyphen when the first letter of the following word is the same as the last letter of the prefix. Some exceptions are coordinate, cooperate, and unnecessary. Use a hyphen when the word that follows is capitalized and with doubled prefixes. Consult Webster’s for instances not addressed in this guide.
'Premier' is an adjective that refers to the first, or best, of something. 'Premiere' can be used as a verb, meaning to introduce something, or as a noun, referring to a first performance.
Capitalize only when used as a formal title before a name or set off in commas after the name. Otherwise, lowercase.
A 'principle' is a rule or guide. 'Principal' can be used as a noun or adjective to describe something or someone as first in importance.
Use a hyphen when using the prefix to show support. In all other cases, no hyphen.
Capitalize only when part of a proper name. Do not capitalize when used alone on second reference.
Use figures and hyphens. Leave out “to” and use an en dash when the
numbers appear before the word “ratio.”
See prefixes entry for rules. Otherwise, consult Webster’s.
See 'allude, refer' entry.
Capitalize and italicize the proper names of reference books. Do not capitalize or italicize the common nouns on
Means “please reply,” so “please RSVP” is redundant.
See 'Bay Area' entry.
Lowercase the names of seasons when they are used generally. Capitalize when used in a proper noun or when referring to a specific season.
An exception to the prefix rule. Always use a hyphen with this prefix.
Twice a year.
See 'bimonthly, semimonthly' entry.
See 'biweekly, semiweekly' entry.
See 'her, she' entry.
Specific wording of signs, notices, mottoes, or inscriptions in text should be capitalized and, if long, placed in quotation marks.
See 'because, since' entry
To stand still is to be 'stationary'. Writing paper is 'stationery'.
See 'addresses' entry.
See individual listings for specific suffixes. For words not in this guide, consult Webster’s. In general, use two words for the verb form and hyphenate any noun or adjective forms.
See 'CalWORKs recipients, TANF recipients' entry.
For most web or print publications, the Foundation uses periods between the sets in a 10-digit telephone number.
'That' is preferred when introducing an essential clause, defined by AP as one that cannot be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence. Essential clauses are not set apart by commas. 'Which' is used to introduce nonessential clauses, defined by AP as one that can be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence. Nonessential clauses are set off from the rest of the sentence using commas.
Use 'that' when referring to an object and 'who' when referring to a person,
a.m. and p.m., figures
Individual titles, job titles, composition titles
total, totaled, totaling
travel, traveled, traveling, traveler
See 'disinterested, uninterested' entry
Spell out when used as a noun. The abbreviation 'U.S.' can be used as an adjective to denote something as being federal. When abbreviating, use periods.
On first reference, always spell out 'University of California'. 'UC' is acceptable in subsequent references. When referring to a specific campus, use a comma followed by the campus name. Do not use “Universities of California” as the plural. Instead, use 'University of California' campuses.
Use http:// when a URL does not begin with www. Otherwise, begin with www.
Use a hyphen when user friendly serves as a modifier, otherwise it is two words.
Capitalize when standing alone. Lowercase when a suffix is added.
One word, lowercase.
See 'good, well' entry
Hyphenate this prefix as part of a compound modifier.
See 'that, which' entry.
Use 'who' when someone is the subject of the sentence, clause, or phrase.
Use 'whom' when someone is the object of a verb or preposition.
Usually hyphenated when forming a compound modifier. Otherwise, use two words.
When using only the last two numbers of year, use an apostrophe to indicate the century has been omitted. Use an en dash to show a span of years. Add -s to indicate decades and plurals. An apostrophe can be used to show the century has been omitted.
ZIP stands for Zoning Improvement Plan, and therefore should be in all caps. In addresses, do not use a comma
between the state name and the ZIP code. Instead, use two spaces.