“Real world” or “Real-world”? Learn if “Real world” is hyphenated

Hyphen rules are confusing, but they don’t have to be. Once you learn the rules for one word, you learn the rules for all of them. We’re looking at real world or real-world today and asking ourselves a simple question. Is real world hyphenated?

Real World Or Real-World – Hyphenated Or Not?

The real world hyphen rule shows us that real-world is hyphenated when we’re using it as an adjective to modify a noun or object in a sentence. We keep real world unhyphenated when we’re using it as its own phrase noun, and it isn’t modifying anything else in the sentence.

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Examples Of When To Use “Real World”

We’ve covered the basics of real world vs real-world, but now it’s time to use real-world examples (see what we did there?) Okay, so we’ll start with using “real world” as two words without the hyphen. We’re using it in this form when it’s a phrase noun and doesn’t modify anything else in the sentence. Let’s demonstrate what we mean to make it easier for you.

  • They don’t do that in the real world.
  • Wake up, Danny. This is the real world.
  • You always talk about the real world.
  • Why do I have to make friends in the real world when the internet is perfectly fine?
  • Can you give me ideas that work in the real world?

Examples Of When To Use “Real-World”

We’ll find the hyphenated version “real-world” is much more common in English. That’s because it’s easier to use the phrase as an adjective rather than a phrase noun. We’ll show you what we mean and demonstrate how to modify a noun or object in a sentence with it.

  • This is a real-world example.
  • I need some real-world experience.
  • Where are your real-world friends?
  • Is this a real-world scenario?
  • We are real-world people.

Is Real World Hyphenated AP Style?

Finding the difference between real-world or real world with AP style is easy. The AP stylebook teaches us a lot about the English language. One of the rules that we’re looking at closely today is how it handles hyphen rules. Basically, we hyphenate the two words when we modify a noun in a sentence (as we’ve mentioned previously). We leave them separate when we’re using it as a noun in itself.

Should I Capitalize “World” In The Word “Real-World”?

Adding title capitalization alongside the hyphen rules can be confusing at first glance. Thankfully, the real answer for capitalization comes down to personal preference and whichever title style you use. Three main title styles are used in all forms of writing, so pick your favorite. The first style capitalizes only the first word and proper nouns after that. In this case, “real-world” isn’t capitalized.

The second style capitalizes all words in a title except for short prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. We will always capitalize “real” but leave “world” uncapitalized in this style because they’re considered one word when hyphenated. The final style capitalizes all words in a title regardless of meaning or length. In this case, we will always capitalize both words in “real-world” as if it’s two separate words.

Alternatives To “Real World”

Let’s look at some alternatives to “real world” that have the same meaning. If you’re struggling with the real world hyphen rule, this might be the solution for you! Using alternatives is a helpful way to better understand a language without worrying about potentially getting rules or spellings wrong.

  • Authentic
  • Bonafide
  • Actuality
  • Material
  • Reality

Quiz – Real World Or Real-World?

We like to finish these articles by including a quiz that you can use to test your knowledge. We’ll include five questions (with the answers at the end to compare). There is a right and wrong answer for each one, so be careful! Look at how the sentence is structured and pick whether the hyphenated or unhyphenated version of “real-world” will work better in the sentence.

  1. This is a (A. real world / B. real-world) problem.
  2. We are all part of the (A. real world / B. real-world).
  3. I need to find some (A. real world / B. real-world) friends, so my mom stops complaining about my online ones.
  4. We’re all comfortable with the happenings in the (A. real world / B. real-world).
  5. I need some (A. real world / B. real-world) examples.

Quiz Answers

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