Is Problem-Solving Hyphenated?

Hyphens are a complicated grammar point that is difficult to learn. One word that many people get confused about is “problem-solving.” You will see this word used often in formal environments, especially with a hyphen. Is problem-solving hyphenated?

Yes, problem-solving is hyphenated because it is an adjective modifying a noun. Problem-solving is what is called a compound adjective, meaning it needs the hyphen. Without the hyphen, problem-solving becomes problem solving and takes on a completely different meaning that you should not use when describing a noun.

The rest of this article will cover what problem-solving means and how to use problem-solving in a sentence.

What Does Problem-Solving Mean?

Problem-solving is a compound adjective that describes the process of fixing a problem. If you break it down, you’ll see the compound has two words: problem and solving. Problem is a harmful situation that needs to be dealt with. Solving is the resolution to situations like problems.

When you put the two words together, you get “problem-solving”, or the methods people take to solve a problem. For example, if someone says “You have great problem-solving skills,” they mean you can solve problems well.

Since school revolves around solving problems, you will see the word “problem-solving” everywhere in school environments. The same applies to work. A lot of businesses require employees to think on their feet and adapt to different problems.

If you want to impress your bosses or professors, make sure you add a hyphen in between problem and solving so the word is spelled correctly. Without the hyphen, problem-solving is no longer the same word.

Multi-word expressions need to have hyphens between them if they are being used to describe a noun. When being used to describe a noun, you should always add a hyphen to “problem-solving.”

How To Use Problem-Solving In A Sentence

Problem-solving is an adjective, meaning you need to use it to describe a person, place, or thing. It can be both positive and negative depending on the context of the sentence. For example, if you say someone has bad problem-solving skills, that is a negative use of the word.

Here are a few examples of “problem-solving” used in a sentence:

  • “Last week, John went to Amy and helped her work on her problem-solving skills.”
  • “After watching Jessica quickly adapt to her new workload, I have concluded that she has amazing problem-solving skills.”
  • “Problem-solving skills are important because they help you think on your feet, adapt to a wide variety of situations, and help others more effectively.”