Setup – set-up – set up

Dear All,
How do you spell the word “setup”? The answer is: it depends: if “setup” is a noun or used in the attributive function, as an adjective (before another noun), then it is spelled as one word with or without a hyphen:

The setup (or set-up) of my phone is easy to use.
I see only three setup (or set-up) options here.

It is worth mentioning that British English (BrE) tends to use the hyphenated version more often than American English (AmE).

Another interesting point is that some English words which used to be spelled with a hyphen in the past are now spelled as one word without a hyphen in Modern English. For instance, if you browse King James Version of the translation of the Bible, you can find such words as “to-day”, “to-morrow” and others there; however, no one spells these words that way anymore. These  examples show a tendency of Modern English to spell certain words as one word (without a hyphen) although they used to be hyphenated in the past.

Let’s get back to our sheep*: when the word “set up” is used as a verb, then it should be spelled as two separate words:

I managed to set up my phone not to track my location.

To sum up, this post has addressed the question of spelling the word “setup” correctly. Depending on how this word is used, it can be spelled either as one word/hyphenated (when it is a noun) or as two separate words (when it is a verb).

*This is an old Romance proverb meaning “let’s get back to our business”.

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