I often run across instances when a single word is often used when it should be two words. Here are some examples.
Checkup and Check Up
”Checkup” is a noun meaning an examination. “I’m going to schedule my dental checkup.”
“Check up” is a verb, meaning to examine. “I’m going to check up on the project.”
Checkout and Check Out
“Checkout” is a noun, which can mean the process by which someone “checks out.” (“The hotel’s checkout policy is that you check out by noon.”)
“Checkout” can also refer to a store counter where customers pay.
“Check out” is a verb, which means “to leave.” “He checked out of the hotel.”
Many Web sites use the word incorrectly, directing you to “checkout now.” They should say “check out now.”
“Check out” can also mean to investigate or look at something. “I’m going to check out the new library.”
Follow-up and Follow up
“Follow-up” is both a noun and an adjective, meaning the act of reviewing, updating or improving something. “The follow-up examination was one week after the surgery.” “The report detailed the needed follow-up.”
“Follow up” is a verb. “I will follow up with you after the meeting.”
Cutoff and Cut Off
“Cutoff” is a noun, meaning a deadline or a point beyond which something can’t happen. “The cutoff date for applications was Tuesday.”
“Cut off” is a verb meaning to stop or separate. “They cut off all our supplies.”
“We were cut off from all communication with the headquarters.”
This article focuses on the most common definitions and usages of these words. Many of these words have other, less common meanings.