Compound Words: Rules, Frequent Errors, and Why They Matter


Compound Words: Rules, Frequent Errors, and Why They Matter

Here is the thing about the English language, as a general rule, that is not only intended for compound words: It’s loaded with entanglements — basic blunders that can estrange perusers, switch off endorsers, and bother purchasers.

That is the reason Copyblogger has generally placed a weighty accentuation on keeping away from wrong spelling and utilization, for example, these 11 normal sentence structure botches.

Also, when you’ve been doing this the length of we have, you will find significantly more normal blunders. The latest for me, however, has been a large group of mixtures.

“What is a compound word?” you ask … let me show you what I mean.

What is a compound word?

A compound word is just a word that is framed from at least two different words. Normally, the new blend of words makes a new or more extensive significance.

Compound words frequently produce composing botches since it’s not difficult to neglect in the event that they’re spelled as single word or two words. In the event that they aren’t twofold checked (see what I did there?) by a proofreader, they can prompt glaring blunders.

Types of compound words

There are three principal types to remember: open compound words, shut compound words, and joined compound words.

In the event that we investigate every one, you’ll not exclusively be better situated to recognize a compound word from now on, you’ll likewise eliminate spelling botches.

Open compound words

I think the open assortment are the most precarious to detect. A vital trait of this sort is that they’re two separate words habitually utilized together.

Since they’re two separate words, recognizing them can befuddle. In any case, you realize they’re compound words since they should be written in a particular request to accomplish a particular importance.


  • Relationship building
  • Coffee table
  • Yoga mat

Each different word is a thing, however the mix makes more spellbinding language.

Closed compound words

Now that we’ve covered open mixtures, shut compound words ought to be really clear.

They consolidate two things into a solitary word to make a compound word with an alternate definition.


  • Eyeglasses
  • Frontrunner
  • Handwriting

Notice how each word is a standard word that can be separated into two separate words. A compound word isn’t a mix of two words, like a portmanteau.

Hyphenated compound words

Joined compound words can be effortlessly mistaken for open ones. At times, an essayist will join words when they ought to be isolated with a space, or the other way around.


  • Editor-in-Chief
  • Long-form
  • Part-time

Prepared journalists know that at whatever point they join a word, they ought to look into the significance and spelling to confirm that their decision to join is exact. Particularly on the grounds that a few joined compounds are joined when utilized as a descriptor however not joined on the off chance that they’re put after things.


  • Sue is a part-time writer.
  • Sue works part time.

Still not persuaded you ought to twofold check? Continue to peruse …

Compound word errors that might make you look like a numbskull

Assuming you’re prepared to bring an end to the unfortunate behavior pattern of letting compound word botches spin out of control in your composition, survey these normal mistakes that can entangle your peruser.

It doesn’t require a lot of additional investment to ensure your substance isn’t discolored with imprudent blunders.

Never mind vs. nevermind

We should fault Kurt Cobain, in light of the fact that since the perfect example for Age X’s colder time of year of discontent dedicated Nirvana’s reality changing collection Don’t bother, I’ve generally spelled “it doesn’t matter” as a compound word.

However, as Cobain knew, that is linguistically erroneous — to a certain extent. It’s obvious, the compound word nevermind is really a dated approach to saying “notice” or “focus,” however utilized in a negative style:

You’ll really do well to pay Cobain no forget about it.

A lot vs. alot

“A ton” is an expression, and signifies “without a doubt.”

Brian rocks out a ton when he pays attention Don’t bother.

“Alot,” then again, isn’t a word, so you shouldn’t utilize it. Ever. Individuals will giggle at you.

Incidentally, don’t confound “a great deal” with “dispense,” and that means to disseminate or give out.

I will distribute four doughnuts to every one of you. That is a great deal of doughnuts.

All together vs. altogether

One signifies “collectively,” while different signifies “totally” or “completely.”

He stacked the records generally together, and the assortment measured by and large to 400.

Every day vs. everyday

The single word can be utilized as a thing or descriptor. It communicates the daily practice, the ordinary.

The two word state, in any case, communicates term or time.

He pays attention to Quit worrying about each day on his regular record spinner.

All right vs. alright

This one is somewhat interesting on the grounds that the two of them mean exactly the same thing: OK, great, acceptable, conviction, or safe.

I’m OK assuming that you’re okay.

Notwithstanding, the single word is casual, which is the reason you’ll get the red squiggly lines in WordPress or Microsoft Word assuming that you attempt to utilize it. The favored use is two words, good? Even better, to stay away from peruser disarray, be explicit:

Anytime vs. any time

We’re discussing the contrast between “whenever” (at whatever point) and just “any time.”

In the event that you’re going for the signifying “whenever,” utilize the qualifier whenever. In the event that you simply mean to utilize the words “any time,” keep the words isolated.

The most well-known botch here is stating “at whenever,” since the significance of the qualifier as of now incorporates “at.” The right adaptation is “whenever.”

A while vs. awhile

Since we’ve covered the distinction among whenever and any time, it’s more obvious the contrast between some time and for a little while.

Here, for some time is our modifier, and that signifies “for some time.” For instance, you’d express “plunk down and remain for a spell” to convey “plunk down and remain for some time.”

Could you at any point detect the normal misstep? It’s the point at which an essayist utilizes “remain for a spell,” rather than “remain for some time,” on the grounds that the significance of the modifier for a little while as of now incorporates “for.”

Sometime vs. some time

At some point is another verb modifier. Conveying an obscure measure of time or undefined time in the future is utilized. The two words “some time” (a modifier and a thing) convey a timeframe, generally a long one.

It’s the contrast between “how about we get together at some point” and “it’s been some time since the lifelong companions have spoken.”

Age-old compound words: your questions answered

Contemplating whether a specific word is compound?

Look at these normal inquiries and utilize the abilities you’ve acquired such a long ways to analyze them — then check whether you’ve speculated the right response!

Is because a compound word?

“Since” is for sure a compound word since it tends to be separated into two separate words — “be” and “cause.” In the event that you can detect two separate words inside a solitary word, it’s possible a compound word. “Since” is one of the shut compound words referenced previously.

Is around a compound word?

“Around” doesn’t look compound from the outset, yet on the off chance that we dig somewhat more profound, you’ll see it’s comprised of the words “a” and “round.” Since the word is framed from two existing words to make another importance, it’s a compound word.

Is together a compound word?

“Together” is in fact a compound word since it’s comprised of three existing words — “to,” “get,” and “her.” Nonetheless, this shut compound word is unique in relation to others that get their importance from the words that are consolidated, for example, “breakfast” or “birthday.”

Is before a compound word?

“Previously” is a compound word since, similar to “in light of the fact that,” it’s comprised of the two words “be” and “front.” “Front” probably won’t be a normally utilized word today, yet a word signifies “set in front.” In this way, it’s a shut compound word.

Is strawberry a compound word?

“Strawberry” is a compound word that comprises of the two words “straw” and “berry.” It’s a genuine illustration of how two things can shape a compound word. “Straw” is definitely not a descriptor that depicts the actual berry. Notwithstanding, “blueberry” and “blackberry” are both compound words.

Is butterfly a compound word?

The remainder of our habitually posed inquiries is a delightful one to picture. Indeed, “butterfly” is a compound word comprised of the words “spread” and “fly.” It’s a shut compound word on the grounds that to accomplish the legitimate importance of the thing, the two words capability together without a space.

Compound v. verb phrases

Presently let me acquaint you with an exceptional set that adjustments of significance and shape when they are utilized as an action word, modifier, or thing … and can create a wide range of issues.

The action word structure as a rule comprises in two words:

. I need to back up my WordPress site.

. Did you set up the camera?

. You need to make up the exam before October.

. We are trying to work out our differences.

. Stop by the office and pick up your money.

 . I couldn’t wake him up on time because I couldn’t wake up myself!

he compound generally fills in as a descriptor:

. Do you have a backup copy of your site?

. I lost the setup instructions.

. The makeup exam is on October 1.

. Marathon runners have insane workout programs.

. Watch out, he’s a pickup artist.

. Hit the wakeup button!

Or on the other hand the compound can act as a thing:

. I wish I had a backup of my site.

. That was a setup.

. She puts loads of makeup on her face.

. That workout makes people vomit.

. There’s been a pickup in business.

. What time is wakeup?

What’s the big deal?

You could ask why we go crazy over pressure the significance of precise syntax and use. Indeed, there are several reasons …

You look senseless or amateurish when you don’t take care of business. Try not to think the substance editing police aren’t watching. They are. Furthermore, they won’t ever rest.

Extraordinary essayists not just battle with their words and writing thoughts down precisely, however with calibrating all that — including their utilization.

Honing the saw in the little stuff is a solid propensity for journalists … regardless of how long they’ve been in the business.

In this way, any time you figure you may be utilizing a word erroneously, find it. You’ll hold individuals back from snickering at you, and get a little more brilliant simultaneously.

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