“On-Time” Or “On Time”? Learn If “On Time” Is Hyphenated

Is on-time hyphenated? That’s what we’re asking ourselves today. It’s good to learn about hyphen rules when you’re picking up English so you know when you should and shouldn’t use a hyphen.

On-Time Or On Time – Hyphenated Or Not?

When we discuss the on-time hyphen rule, we understand the difference between on time or on-time. We hyphenate the two words when used as an adjective to modify a noun or object in a sentence. We keep them as two separate words without a hyphen when we use them as nouns without modifying anything.

Examples Of When To Use “On-Time”

Examples are the easiest ways for you to learn whether to use on-time or on time. We’ve put together a few useful sentences for you to see how it works. Firstly, we’ll run you through the hyphenated form, which is used as an adjective. You use “on-time” to modify nouns and objects.

  • I need a list of on-time students over the last week.
  • Please check for on-time announcements.
  • That airline ranked highly for on-time arrivals.
  • On-time students are the best students.
  • On-time schedules make life easy.

Examples Of When To Use “On Time”

Now let’s see how we use “on time” as two separate words. It becomes a noun in this form and is most commonly found at the end of a phrase.

  • We arrived on time.
  • We paid our money on time.
  • My students are always on time.
  • The train is running on time.
  • I got home on time.

Is On-Time Hyphenated AP Style?

AP style teaches us a lot about the difference between on-time vs on time. When we’re using the words as an adjective to modify a noun or object, we treat the hyphen as a joiner between the two. This helps the reader to understand a little more about what they’re reading. If we don’t need to modify a noun, the hyphen between the two words is not needed.

Should I Capitalize “Time” In The Word “On-Time”?

If you’re using the hyphenated version of “on-time” in a title, it’s important to know how capitalization works for it. There are a few ways you could write a title, each with different capitalization rules, so we’ll look through the most popular choices. You can pick which one works best for you (or you might already have a good idea) and work from there.

The first style of title capitalizes the first word and proper nouns only. Every other word is left in the lower case. In this title style, we leave both words in “on-time” uncapitalized (unless the title starts with it, then we only capitalize “on”). The second title style capitalizes all relevant words except for the shorter ones like prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. In this case, “on” will always be capitalized, but “time” is never capitalized.

The final style capitalizes each word in the title regardless of hyphenation or not. That means both words in “on-time” are capitalized and treated as two separate words.

Alternatives To “On-Time”

If you’re still struggling to understand the on-time hyphen rule, don’t worry. We’ve got the solution. You can use an alternative that means the same thing but doesn’t use the same rules. With these alternatives, you can be safe in your knowledge of the meaning of the word without worrying about someone calling you up on poor grammar usage or confusing your hyphen rules.

  • Punctual
  • Timely
  • Dependable
  • Prompt
  • Reliable

Quiz – On-Time Or On Time?

Let’s finish up with a quiz to see how you’ve got on with this article. We’ll put your knowledge to the test, and you can compare your answers to the correct ones at the end of this section. If you’ve got anything wrong, go back over the article and try to figure out what you might have missed. Make sure you read each sentence through before taking a guess, as the clues are in the text!

  1. I make sure I’m always (A. on-time / B. on time).
  2. The train was (A. on-time / B. on time).
  3. I checked my (A. on-time / B. on time) train schedule.
  4. We make (A. on-time / B. on time) payments.
  5. Please check the (A. on-time / B. on time) arrivals.

Quiz Answers

  1. B
  2. B
  3. A
  4. A
  5. A

You might also like: “In Time” vs. “On Time” – Difference Explained (Helpful Examples)