One Word or Two?


Choose the correct word/phrase

  1. Putin couldn’t get (ahold/a hold/hold) of the hit man in time to get the job done.
  2. Igor had put his gun away and was (already/all ready) for bed when the phone rang.
  3. (Alot/A lot) of Russian journalists don’t have to worry about retirement.
  4. Doctor Quack didn’t want to treat hypochondriacs (anymore/any more).
  5. (Anyone/Any one) who thinks telekinesis is real should raise my hand.
  6. She performed the role of Anne Frank so badly that when the Nazis came at end of the play, the audience stood up (all together/altogether) and shouted, “She’s in the attic!”
  7. Let’s turn the TV off for (awhile/a while) and pretend the world is sane.
  8. Mass shootings are nearly an (everyday/every day) occurrence, but first responders are doing a great job of treating the wounded.
  9. (Everyone/Every one) needs to get a grip.
  10. We’ll stop hearing about Trump (sometime/some time), hopefully before we lose our minds.

Answers: 1. ahold or hold  2. all ready  3. A lot  4. anymore or any more 5. Anyone  6. all together  7.  a while  8. everyday  9 Everyone  10. sometime

    1. All of these are used. Get ahold is an Americanism and is considered an informal variant of get hold. A hold is used in expression like “Bourbon has a hold on me.”
    2. Igor has already brushed his teeth and has his pyjamas on. Already is an adverb meaning “before or by now or the time in question.” Igor is already all ready for bed.
    3. The one-word “alot” isn’t recognized in dictionaries and is considered an error. But it is such a common error that I suspect it won’t be long before it becomes accepted usage.
    4. Both forms are used, but the one-word anymore is an adverb in American and Canadian usage and is not recognized as standard in British dictionaries. In American/Canadian usage, one might write “Dr. Quack doesn’t want to treat hypochondriacs anymore, so don’t send him any more hypochondriacs.”
    5. The one-word anyone is an indefinite pronoun that refers to any unspecified person. The two-word any one can refer to specific individuals: Any one of the Republican candidates would make a lousy President.
    6. The audience all stood up at the same time. Altogether is an adverb meaning “completely”: Her performance was altogether horrible
    7. These two mean pretty much the same thing, but the two-word a while is a noun and can used with a preposition; the one-word awhile is an adverb: Stay for a while/stay awhile.
    8. The one-word everyday is an adjective meaning “ordinary.” Mass shootings are an everyday occurrence because they happen every day.
    9. The one-word everyone is an indefinite pronoun that refers to unspecified persons. The two-word every one can refer to specific individuals: Every one of the Republican candidates would make a lousy President.
    10. Sometime is an adverb meaning “at some unspecified or unknown time.” The two-word some time means “a period of time. Give me some time to think about it.


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