Is it one word or two?

27 words with commonly confused spacings
Photo: BrianAJackson

Some compound terms are styled as two words separated by a space, some have a hyphen, and some are one word. Sometimes a term will have more than one styling, and different publications may even use different stylings. This is fine as long as the spelling of a word is consistent throughout a periodical, book, etc.

  1. a lot | see definition»

    to a considerable degree or extent : LOTS

    I have a lot of cookies.

  2. at least | see definition»

    at the minimum : in any case

    At least you have Friday off.

  3. badass | see definition»

    of formidable strength or skill

    They're a badass band.

  4. best seller | see definition»

    or bestseller : an article (such as a book) whose sales are among the highest of its class

    an author known for writing best sellers

    an author known for writing bestsellers

  5. blockchain | see definition»

    a digital database containing information that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network

    securing assets on the blockchain

  6. bumblebee | see definition»

    or less commonly bumble bee : any of numerous large robust hairy social bees (genus Bombus)

    There are a variety of different bumblebee species.

    There are a variety of different bumble bee species.

  7. cell phone | see definition»

    or less commonly cellphone : a portable usually cordless telephone for use in a cellular system

    Don't forget to bring your cell phone.

    Don't forget to bring your cellphone.

  8. everywhere | see definition»

    in or to every place or part

    The kids left their toys everywhere.

  9. freestanding | see definition»

    standing alone or on its own foundation free of support or attachment : not being part of or affiliated with another organization

    a freestanding garage

    a freestanding clinic

  10. good luck | see definition»

    —used to say that one hopes someone will succeed

    Good luck on your presentation today!

  11. good morning | see definition»

    —used to say hello to someone in the morning

    Good morning! How was your weekend?

  12. good night | see definition»

    —used to express good wishes in the evening especially when someone is leaving or going to sleep

    Good night, sweetheart. Sleep tight.

  13. handwritten

    written by hand

    handwritten letters

  14. health care | see definition»

    or healthcare : efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals

    improvements to the country's health care

    improvements to the country's healthcare

    —usually hyphenated when used before another noun

    health-care providers

  15. high school | see definition»

    a school especially in the U.S. usually including grades 9–12 or 10–12

    a small high school with only 400 students

  16. levelheaded | see definition»

    having or showing sound judgment : SENSIBLE

    levelheaded managers

  17. living room | see definition»

    a room in a residence used for the common social activities of the occupants

    redecorated their living room

  18. never mind | see definition»

    —used to say that something previously mentioned or asked can be disregarded

    Can I borrow your car tomorrow? Oh, never mind. My brother can give me a ride.

  19. newspaper | see definition»

    a paper that is printed and distributed usually daily or weekly and that contains news, articles of opinion, features, and advertising

    had a subscription to a daily newspaper

  20. no one | see definition»

    no person : NOBODY

    No one is home.

  21. nonprofit | see definition»

    not conducted or maintained for the purpose of making a profit

    a nonprofit organization

  22. race car | see definition»

    a very fast car that is used in professional auto racing

    wanted to buy a race car

  23. skill set | see definition»

    a collection of skills and abilities that can be applied to a professional or creative endeavor

    She got a new job that required a similar skill set to her last job.

  24. time frame | see definition»

    or less commonly timeframe : a period of time especially with respect to some action or project

    What is the time frame for the new project?

    What is the timeframe for the new project?

  25. waymaker | see definition»

    one that makes a road

    a waymaker for the town

  26. website | see definition»

    or Web site or less commonly web site : a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization

    the shop's website

    the shop's Web site

    the shop's web site

  27. wish list | see definition»

    a list of desired but often realistically unobtainable items

    A huge house is on my wish list.