Compound Words

A compound word is a word or word group that functions as a unit even though it has two or more parts. For example, the word "everywhere" is made up of two distinct words ("every" and "where"), but as a compound word "everywhere" has a distinct meaning (adverb, "in all places"). Although there are some cases where experts disagree about the validity of a compound word, most cases follow clear rules that determine if a word should be compound word or not. In the following sentences, you can see where student writers created errors when using compound words. For example:

I told my self that I would finish reading the chapter for history before I took a break and watched my favorite sitcom.

You have to be true to your self, or you will end up succumbing to peer pressure and making the wrong choices.

Any thing my mother finds cute, I find hideous.

In each of these sentences, the underlined compound words have been written incorrectly as two separate words when they should be written as one word. When you are uncertain about whether a word is compound, check your dictionary.