Writing a german cover letter for a job position. In the sentence

Ich bin eine IT affine Person - im Umgang mit Excel und ...

should there be a hyphen between IT and affin? What would be the rule here? I am hesitant between the following possibilities:

IT affin


It affin


it affin


Where I am quite sure, that it should be in all caps, I am not sure about the hyphen.

1 Answer 1


Yes. Only

Ich bin eine IT-affine Person.

is correct. In German compounds, there is either a hyphen or nothing between the elements.

  • In no case there is a space as in English. Though, a lot of people are doing this wrong, even on public displays. Most of them are excused for being second language speakers of German. There's even a name for this bad habit, it's called Deppenleerzeichen – dork space.

If there are multiple proper names connected, or if there are abbreviations inside the word, all parts must be connected with hyphens. This is called Durchkopplung.

Ich bin eine Microsoft-Apple-Linux-affine Person.

Ich bin eine mobil-IT-affine Person.

Though, your expression doesn't mean what you may think in German. Most people would assume an IT-affine Person is someone who is always buying the latest stuff, not necessarily knowing how to use it. It's part of your lifestyle, not part of your profession. Think Aficionado.

If you think it's part of your profession, you should write

Ich kenne mich gut mit IT aus.


  • Are you sure you want to say proper name here and not just noun?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 8:20
  • It's proper names. Ordinary nouns may be hyphenated, but it's not the norm.
    – Janka
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 8:41
  • Ah, you were talking about hyphen vs. nothing, while I thought you were talking about hyphen (and nothing) vs. space. You might want to make that more clear (in particular since the question only ponders the possibility of hyphens and spaces here).
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 8:44
  • I blame spell checkers for Deppen leer Zeichen.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 9:18
  • I never use them. They make you dumb.
    – Janka
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 9:20

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