Before you want to use “in-house” correctly, it would help to know whether it’s one or two words. This article will explore the rules surrounding the hyphenated form and what you need to know before you write about it yourself.
In house vs. In-house vs. Inhouse
“In-house” is only correct as a hyphenated phrase. We must include the hyphen to group “in” and “house” to show that they modify the same word in the sentence. Neither “inhouse” nor “in house” are correct forms when trying to modify anything, so you should avoid them.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “in-house” is by far the most popular choice of the three. This shows that it’s the only one that is grammatically correct, so it should be the one that you stick to in your own writing.
We can also check out The Cambridge Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary to see their official entries. In both dictionaries, “in-house” is defined in its hyphenated form. Neither dictionary mentions the other variations.
Both dictionaries also mention that it’s correct as an adjective and an adverb. There are no exceptions to this rule where the hyphen can be dropped. If “in-house” modifies something in the sentence, it must be hyphenated to demonstrate this.
If you’re not sure what the difference between an adjective and adverb is, you can refer to these examples:
- Adjective: The in-house staff is going to make short work of this.
- Adverb: We designed this in-house, and we hope you like it!
Is “Inhouse” One Word?
“In house” is never correct as one word. We cannot group the individual words “in” and “house” because they both give separate meanings that must be identified if we’re to help explain what they mean to our readers. A hyphen is always required.
Perhaps these examples will help you to understand it better:
- Correct: If you have any in-house staff that would be willing to work with me, that would be great.
- Incorrect: The inhouse lawyers did not agree with our protocols, so we sacked them.
- Correct: You should find it in-house, and I’m sure someone will be happy to help you.
- Incorrect: I can do that inhouse without much problem!
Is “In house” Two Words?
“In house” shouldn’t be written as two words. It’s incorrect to write it in this way because it excludes the hyphens. Therefore, we cannot show how “in house” is supposed to modify a verb or noun in the sentence. It’s best to avoid this form.
Here are some examples to remind you:
- Correct: We’re hosting an in-house competition for all of our loyal members.
- Incorrect: These in house workers aren’t living up to the standards I expect of them.
- Correct: I designed those in-house, which is why it took me longer than I thought it would!
- Incorrect: We tried to carry it out in house, but we didn’t have enough people for the task.
Is “In-house” Hyphenated?
“In-house” should always be hyphenated. It works as a compound adjective and a compound adverb. In either case, we use the hyphenated form to modify something in the sentence, and it’s standard English rules to make sure we include hyphens to link the words.
We can refer to the AP Stylebook when we want to learn more about hyphens. With AP Style, it’s common for more than one word to be hyphenated when they modify the same noun (or verb) in a sentence.
Check these examples out to help you with it:
- All of these designs were created in-house by our specialists.
- The in-house view of this place is something that everyone is striving to achieve.
- I have a couple of in-house walkthroughs to go over, so I’ll be out until later tonight.
- These were all designed in-house. They look great, right?
Is “House” Capitalized In The Word “In-House”?
Since there are some people that get confused about capitalizing hyphenated words, we thought we’d include a quick section about it.
Generally, you do not need to capitalize either portion of “in-house.” It does not contain proper nouns, so it is unnecessary. However, you might find it useful to do so when you include it as part of a title since “In-House” would be much better suited to title formats.
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.