When you use a hyphen to connect two words and use those words as an adjective, it is called a compound modifier.
Incorrect: The sweet smelling cake made my stomach growl.
This sentence is rather confusing. Is the sweet actually smelling the cake? There needs to be a hyphen should be inserted between sweet and smelling, so the reader understands that the cake smells sweet:
Incorrect: The sweet-smelling cake made my stomach growl.
Here are more example sentences showing the compound modifier connected by hyphens:
The narrow-minded man wouldn’t listen to my opinions.
The well-behaved girl made her mother proud.
Do you have a short-haired cat?
Want to sharpen your business writing skills? Discover our acclaimed online courses at syntaxtraining.com Whether you want to learn about taking taking meeting notes, become a master proofreader, master punctuation or tune-up your business writing skills, our courses are here to help you.