Many words beginning with a prefix are written with a hyphen (co-payment); many are not (overproduction). Confusingly, there are also cases where both forms are considered acceptable (British: pre-school / American: preschool). As can be seen from this last example, the tendency in American English is to hyphenate less than in British English. In all events, if in doubt about whether a prefix should be followed by a hyphen, consult a reliable dictionary. However, the following observations generally hold.

Words beginning with a common prefix (such as un-, dis– or re-) are often written without a hyphen.

Small_OK Current numbers of absences from class in many subjects are unacceptably high.
Small_OK Student representatives have disregarded criticism from the Rector, calling it uninformed and unfair.
Small_OK This initiative reaffirms the strong ties between the two universities.

In contrast, a hyphen is generally used with prefixes such as neo– and ex-.

Small_OK The Arts Faculty building is an outstanding example of neo-classicalarchitecture.
Small_OK Dr Rovira is the ex-director of the Cancer Research Institute.

Hyphenate all words formed by a prefix + word beginning with a capital letter.

Small_OK This movement is a pan-European response to failures in education.
Small_OK The research confirms a growing anti-British sentiment in commercial relations.

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