It might help you to learn how to spell “drop-down.” Is it written as one or two words? And do we write it hyphenated? These questions will soon be answered for you!
Drop down vs. Drop-down vs. Dropdown
“Drop-down” is the correct spelling variation that you should stick to. It works best when you are combining “drop” and “down” into the adjective form to modify a noun in the sentence. “Drop down” works as a phrasal verb, but it’s rare to use “dropdown.”
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “drop-down” is the most popular choice of the three. Surprisingly, “drop down” is also quite popular, though this is only ever used as a phrasal verb.
In The Cambridge Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary, “drop-down” is the only officially defined variation. Both dictionaries make a note to show that the hyphen is very important when you are writing it as an adjective form.
However, The Oxford Dictionary also mentions that “dropdown” is a variation of the hyphenated spelling. Therefore, it is also correct if you would like to remove the hyphen.
If you want to know where the differences between verbs and adjectives come from, check this out:
- Adjective: You need to activate the drop-down menu.
- Verb: I would like to drop down now.
Is “Dropdown” One Word?
“Dropdown” is rarely used as one word. While it’s recognized as an alternative variation, it’s much better to stick with the hyphenated form. With that said, some people like to simplify the English language and remove hyphens when they deem them unnecessary to the meaning.
Since it’s still defined as an alternative in The Oxford Dictionary, it would still make sense to check out these examples:
- Can we have a look at the dropdown options before choosing?
- The dropdown tasks aren’t named correctly, and we should fix them.
- When you get a moment, I need somebody to correct the dropdown menu for me.
- We can include a dropdown to help you with this.
Is “Drop down” Two Words?
“Drop down” should not be written as two words if you want it to be an adjective. We must stick to standardized hyphenation rules when writing the two words. However, it is correct as a phrasal verb, which is why it’s used fairly commonly when looking at the graph.
Therefore, the following example would be correct:
- I need you to drop down the bag!
In this case, “drop” and “down” both work to talk about the action of “dropping” something “down” toward another person.
We’ll focus the following examples on the verb form so you can see when it might be useful:
- Can you drop down to my level for a second?
- Why did you drop down when she said that? It wasn’t time!
- You should have dropped down sooner than that!
- I think it would help to drop down to a floor below when cleaning these windows.
Is “Drop-down” Hyphenated?
“Drop-down” is best used when hyphenated. It’s the officially recognized spelling variation, and it’s the one that makes the most sense when you include it in your writing. It also allows us to stick to fundamental English rules without much issue.
According to the AP Stylebook guidelines, you should always hyphenate two or more words when they modify the same noun. In this case, “drop” and “down” both work to modify nouns like “menu” (“drop-down menu”).
Following AP Style shows us that a hyphen is always a necessary part of “drop-down.”
Check these examples out if you’re not sure how to make it work:
- You should click on the drop-down menu to make sure you know what you’re working with.
- The drop-down list should give you more indication about what’s happening here.
- The drop-down is what you need to pay attention to.
- Can I create a drop-down task manager for you?
Is “Down” Capitalized In The Word “Drop-Down”?
Since “drop-down” isn’t a proper noun, we don’t have to say too much about capitalization rules. Neither part of the hyphenated form needs to be capitalized unless you are writing it as part of a title.
If you mark all other words as capitalized in your title style, it might be wise to capitalize both parts of the hyphenated form. This will help it to suit the style much better.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.