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Using hyphens to avoid confusion

Compare these two sentences:

John is a friendly-looking fellow.

This sentence means that John is a person who appears friendly to people who look at him. This is different to the meaning in this sentence:

John is a friendly looking fellow.

Here the sentence is saying that John is friendly, and that he is also looking for something (who knows what, the sentence doesn’t tell us).

These two sentences show how you can use a hyphen to clarify exactly what you mean in the sentence.