Knowing whether to say up to date or up-to-date can seem quite a challenge at first, but the up to date hyphen rule is a pretty simple one to remember! Let’s take a look at it, as well as some examples to help you out too.
Up To Date Or Up-To-Date – Hyphenated Or Not?
“Up to date” is left unhyphenated when it isn’t modifying a noun in the sentence. It is most commonly placed at the end of a clause so that nothing comes after it needing to be modified. “Up-to-date” is hyphenated when you need to join the words together to modify a noun in the sentence.
Is Up To Date Hyphenated AP Style?
The AP style rules suggest that hyphenation only occurs in words closely linked and used to modify a noun. For this reason, “up to date” is kept unhyphenated when it doesn’t need to join and is hyphenated when it modifies a noun. It will make more sense when we go through some examples to see how you can hyphenate the phrase.
Should I Capitalize “To Date” In The Word “Up-To-Date”?
If you’re using up-to-date or up to date in a title, you might be a little confused on how to capitalize it. We’ll quickly look at how to capitalize the hyphenated version, as this could cause the most problems. Most title style rules are subjective and depend entirely on your own personal style or the style and tone you’re trying to convey. There are three main style choices for a title to look at that change the capitalization of hyphens.
The first style only capitalizes the first word and any proper nouns. In this style, every word in “up-to-date” is left uncapitalized. The second style capitalizes every word except for articles, short conjunctions, and short prepositions. In this case, the “up” part of the word is capitalized as it’s the first word, but “to” and “date” are left uncapitalized.
The final title style is where all words in the title are capitalized. It’s not as common, but it’s still possible to see it. In this case, all three words in “up-to-date” are capitalized, as well as every word in the title.
Examples Of When To Use “Up To Date”
So, let’s now look at when we should be saying “up to date” without the hyphen. Hopefully, you should already have a good idea of how this will work, but we’ll cover it for you anyway!
- You need to stay up to date with the proceedings.
- Stay up to date with your homework.
- Can you bring me up to date on what you’ve done with the project?
In each example here, no noun is modified by the phrase “up to date,” so no hyphen is needed between the words.
Examples Of When To Use “Up-To-Date”
Now, let’s look at when we do include the hyphens between the words. You’ll notice a distinct change in the sentence that makes it a little more obvious when you should use a hyphen and when you shouldn’t.
- For the most up-to-date news, stay tuned.
“News” is the noun that is modified.
- You must reference up-to-date information for a good mark.
“Information” is the noun being modified.
- This is the most up-to-date estimate I can give you.
“Estimate” is the noun being modified.
Alternatives To “Up To Date”
Okay, so now let’s look at some alternatives we can use. Rather than wondering whether to hyphenate or not, just replace it with one of these! With these, you’ll be able to avoid the hyphenation problem altogether in the future!
- caught up
- on top of
Quiz – Up To Date Or Up-To-Date?
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot more about the hyphenation process now! Let’s finish up with a quick quiz to see what you’ve learned! Choose from A or B when you pick the answers and refer to them in the “Quiz Answers” section to see how you did!
- For (A. up to date / B. up-to-date) information, visit our website.
- I need to keep (A. up to date / B. up-to-date) with current affairs.
- Are you (A. up to date / B. up-to-date) with your jabs?
- Where are the most (A. up to date / B. up-to-date) findings?
- I’m not sure your skills are (A. up to date / B. up-to-date).
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.