Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
Is it proper to ever end a sentence in a preposition?
Rules of the Games
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Carol, who thinks she knows everything except this, asks...
is it 1 to 20 ratio or 1-to-20 ratio? how about client to staff ratio or client-to-staff ration
Anne answers...
Here is the rule I would apply to these two questions. You use a hyphen between words that form a compound adjective for the noun they modify. In both cases, the noun is "ratio," so I would use 1-to-20 ratio and client-to-staff ratio. Additionally, the visual aid of the hyphen helps the reader get the sense of the sentence more quickly.
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