When using compound nouns, you might come across one or two-word options as well as a hyphenated form. There seem to be different rules based on the words used. This article will look at using “high-schooler” and “high schooler” to help you learn which is correct.
High-schooler or High schooler?
“High schooler” and “high-schooler” are both appropriate as compound nouns. It’s most common to see “high schooler” as two words because it refers to “high school,” which is also two words. You might say, “he is a high schooler,” or “she was a high-schooler.”
Both forms are correct, and they work as follows:
- The high schooler in me wants to tell you that you’re being foolish.
- She’s only a high-schooler. You should forgive her for saying some of those things.
The hyphenated form is correct but less popular in both US and UK English.
Generally, you only hyphenate compound words when they modify other nouns or phrases. This does not apply to “high-schooler,” meaning it doesn’t need a hyphen between the words.
Most native speakers won’t mind whether you use the two-word or hyphenated form. It is mainly a conceptual choice, though you’re much more likely to come across “high schooler.”
Is “High-schooler” Hyphenated?
You can hyphenate “high-schooler.” It isn’t a common spelling variation, but it is correct.
You may hyphenate the words because they often appear together, and people know what a “high-schooler” is when written like this. The words can become a compound noun to help a reader understand you’re referring to a “high-school” student.
- I am a high-schooler. I haven’t done much else with my life just yet.
- As high-schoolers, we really should put more emphasis on what we learn.
Hyphens typically combine words when they modify the same noun in a sentence. Since “high-schooler” is very similar to saying “high-school student,” it’s likely that the hyphen is kept in for that reason.
Is “High schooler” Two Words?
“High schooler” is correct as two words, and you should write it this way in most cases. This is the most common form you’ll come across.
It comes from “high school,” which is a two-word variation in itself. To keep things uniform, it’s best to stick to the two-word spelling from the root word. So “high school” and “high schoolers” are both correct.
- You are a high schooler. You should start acting like one and showing them you mean business.
- I’m not a high schooler anymore. I learned a lot in my time there, but that’s over.
Is “Highschooler” One Word?
While you can hyphenate the words or leave them separated, there’s one variation that does not work. You cannot write “highschooler” as one word.
Removing the hyphen removes the modification in “high-schooler.” You cannot group the words together because it makes no sense and removes the modification “high” has on “schooler.”
- Correct: She’s only a high schooler. You should be careful around her. I don’t trust her.
- Incorrect: Stop talking to the highschoolers like that. You’re supposed to be the more mature one.
You should stick to only the two-word option, though the hyphenated form is correct, also.
Other Words for “High Schooler”
If you’re not comfortable using any of the previous options, there is one more that might work well.
- High school student
“High school student” is a great form that removes the need for “high schoolers” at all. You do not have to worry about hyphenating this form as it simply refers to a student attending high school.
Here, “high school” modifies “student.” You do not have to hyphenate it, as it is all part of the same phrasal noun.
“High schooler” and “high-schooler” are both correct. The choice to include the hyphen is up to you, though it’s best to stick to the more common two-word variation.
If in doubt, “high school student” is by far the best option. This allows you to ignore the hyphenation debate entirely and use a much more familiar term.