phrasal verbs vs. nouns

Phrasal verbs make up a huge category of expressions in English that careless users often misspell by substituting one-word noun forms for the standard two-word phrasal verb; for instance: it would have been a mistake for me to have written “Phrasal verbs makeup a huge category.” It is fine to write “I didn’t want to put on my makeup” (“makeup” is a noun) or “I had to take the makeup exam.” (In this example “makeup” is a noun acting like an adjective modifying another noun—“exam”. What kind of exam was it? A makeup exam.) Such nouns are often hyphenated, at least early in their history … Continue reading phrasal verbs vs. nouns