Pacific Rim/Asia Study-Travel Program, PacRim

page numbers
Use figures: The story is continued on page 48. Turn to page 72 to find out who was killed.

part time, part-time
Hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: She works part time. She has a part-time job.

See Numbers, percent, percentages.


  • abbreviations
    When an abbreviation ends a sentence, no additional period is necessary at the end of the sentence. He lives at .
  • space after 
    Include only one space after a period in all cases.
  • quotation marks
    Periods are placed within quotation marks.

play titles
See Capitalization, compositions.

p.m., a.m.
See a.m., p.m.


  • Plural nouns not ending in s
    Add ’s: the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights.
  • Plural nouns ending in s
    Add only apostrophe: the churches’ needs, the girls’ toys.
  • Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning
    Add only apostrophe: mathematics’ rules, measles’ effects, General Motors’ profits, the United States’ wealth.
  • Nouns same in singular and plural
    Treat them as plurals: one corps’ location, the two deer’s tracks.
  • Singular common nouns ending in s
    Add ’s unless next word begins with s: the hostess’s invitation, the hostess’ seat.
  • Singular proper names ending in s
    Use only an apostrophe: Achilles’ heel, Dickens’ novels.
    Note: President Thomas prefers the use of ’s with his name: President Thomas’s house is located on North 18th Street.  
  • Joint possession
    Use possessive form after only the last word if ownership is joint: Fred and Sylvia’s apartment, Fred and Sylvia’s stocks. Use apostrophe after both if individually owned: Fred’s and Sylvia’s books. An ’s is required, however, when a term involves a plural word that does not end in s: a children’s hospital, a people’s republic.

Follow Webster’s New WorldCollege Dictionary. Hyphenate if not listed there. Some words without a hyphen: postsecondary, postgraduate, postseason.

post office
It may be used but it is no longer capitalized because the agency is now the U.S. Postal Service.

The rules in prefixes apply. The following examples of exceptions to first-listed spellings in Webster’s New World College Dictionary are based on the general rule that a hyphen is used if a prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel: pre-election, pre-eminent, pre-empt. Otherwise, follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary, hyphenating if not listed there. Some examples: prearrange, prehistoric, prenatal.

Generally do not hyphenate when using a prefix with a word starting with a consonant. Three rules are constant, although they yield some exception to first-listed spellings in Webster’s New World College Dictionary:

  • Except for cooperate and coordinate, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel.
  • Use a hyphen if the word that follows is capitalized.
  • Use a hyphen to join doubled prefixes: sub-subparagraph.

premiere (n.)
A first performance or showing of a play, film, etc.

premier (adj.)
First in importance or rank; chief; foremost.

See Capitalization, president also Titles, occupational titles.

principal, principle
Principal is a noun and adjective meaning someone or something first in rank, authority, importance, or degree: She is the school principal. He was the principal player in the trade. Money is the principal problem. Principle is a noun that means a fundamental truth, law, doctrine, or motivating force: They fought for the principle of self-determination.

Use a hyphen when coining words that denote support for something: pro-abortion, pro-business, pro-labor.

See Titles, occupational titles.