Compound Words

Background Information

There are several kinds of compound words. Open compounds are compounds in which the words are spelled separately.  Examples: high school, ice cream. With hyphenated compounds come down the words are separated by a hyphen. Closed compounds consist of two or more words that appear as one word, not separated by spaces are hyphens.

Did you know?
Compound words begins to separate words. Over time, as the words become used together more and more, they often become hyphenated. Later, they might even appear as one word, without the-. Example: shortstop > short-stop > shortstop. A living language, a language that is still being spoken and used, usually contains compound words in all their evolving forms. It is a challenge to keep up with the evolution of compound words! Because there’s often no right way to use a compound word that has been changing, people choose one way and use it consistently and their writing.   

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