Everyone loves a good “road trip.” You’d probably love it even more if you knew how to spell it. This article will help you figure out whether it’s one or two words. We’ll also include all the language rules that make this the case!
Roadtrip vs. Road trip
“Road trip” is two words. We use it as a phrasal noun, which means it has to be kept as a phrase (more than one word). Phrasal nouns typically use the first word as a modifier (“road”) and the second word as the action or activity (“trip”). “Roadtrip” is incorrect.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “road trip” is by far the most popular choice of the two. This graph makes it quite clear that the two-word variation is the only one that is grammatically correct. We should avoid using “roadtrip” (as you can see from the graph).
The Cambridge Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary provide entries for “road trip” as a phrasal noun. This is more than enough for us to understand that the two-word variation is the only correct one and the only one we should use.
Both dictionaries also mention that “road-trip” can be hyphenated, but this only applies in the verb form. However, there isn’t a single mention of “roadtrip” as a one-word variation, so make sure you do not use this.
Is “Roadtrip” One Word?
“Roadtrip” is not correct as one word. We cannot group it in this way because it takes away from the meaning of the phrasal noun. “Road” needs to be kept separate to show how the word “trip” is modified in our writing.
AP Stylebook rules sometimes allow us to group words together, but these rules rarely apply to phrasal nouns.
Some native speakers will still try to ignore AP Style rules in favor of simplifying the language. Unfortunately, using “roadtrip” as one word is not a way to simplify the language. We must always keep them as two words.
Incidentally, we would be able to write “road-trip” as a hyphenated form (thanks to AP Style rules). However, this only applies when we’re working with the verb form:
- We road-tripped around the country.
How about checking out a few of these examples to show you which is the correct form:
- Correct: If you’d like to go on a road trip with me, you’re going to need to pack your bags pretty soon.
- Incorrect: I thought you said this would be a fun roadtrip! I’m not having fun at all.
- Correct: Whatever you say about this road trip, I don’t want you telling anyone what happened back there!
- Incorrect: I did enjoy the roadtrip, but I didn’t enjoy the company. I don’t think I’ll do it with him again.
Is “Road trip” Two Words?
“Road trip” should always be written as two words. It is known as a phrasal noun, and we can use “road” as an adjective to modify the word “trip.” This shows that we’re going to be taking a long journey on the roads (sometimes without a specific destination).
Whenever we use phrasal nouns, we have to remember to build them with adjectives and nouns (or verbs). “Road” is the adjective, and “trip” is the noun. As long as we remember this combination, we’ll remember that it’s two words.
Here are some examples that should clear things up for you:
- Are you ready for our road trip? I have so many things packed and ready to go!
- It’s going to be the biggest road trip we’ve ever been on! I really cannot wait to see what we’re going to find!
- Let’s go on a road trip! I’m so bored being cooped up like a chicken!
- I didn’t like the road trip. It was too long, and I had a headache the entire time!
Tip To Remember The Difference
We’ll finish up with a quick tip that should clear up any confusion (if you still have any). Once you’ve understood this part, you’ll never forget the spelling again.
“Road trip” is always two words. “Road trips” are often long and require a lot of patience. Including a space in a word is also longer than removing it. Therefore, we can remember always to include the space between “road trip” to show it’s a long journey.
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.