When Does "Grown Up" Need a Hyphen?

Grammar tips, Hollywood style.

Mignon Fogarty,
October 17, 2011

When Does

When Does "Grown Up" Need a Hyphen?

Hollywood has a history of messing up punctuation (Two Week's Notice, 40 Year-Old Virgin*, Eight Legged Freaks**), and the movie Grown Ups is no exception. The name needs a hyphen.

"Grow up" is a phrasal verb and does not need a hyphen:

  • Oh, stop being a baby and grow up!

"Grown up" can be the past participle of "grow up," but it can also be a noun or an adjective; when it is, it needs a hyphen:

  • Always hold a grown-up's hand.

  • The grown-ups were whispering in the other room.

Read more about hyphens here

*Hat tip to @CopyCurmudgeon, **hat tip to @verdantgarden


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