รดรด

When Does "Grown Up" Need a Hyphen?

Grammar tips, Hollywood style.

By
Mignon Fogarty,

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
 

 

The Grammar DevotionalGet more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

 Print: Amazon, Barnes & NoblePowell’s

E-book: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBook

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.