Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Wednesday Transcription Tip- Compound Modifiers

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Sometimes hyphenated compound words become so well established that the hyphen is dropped and the words are joined together without a hyphen.  When such a word can be used either as a noun, adjective, or verb, the noun and adjective forms are joined without a hyphen, but the verb form remains two separate words if one of them is a preposition.


noun or adjective                                  verb
checkup                                                  check up
followup                                                  follow up
workup                                                    work up
followthrough                                        follow through

The patient was lost to followup (noun).
Followup exam will be in 3 weeks (adjective with a noun following)
I will follow up with the patient in 2 weeks (verb)
I will work up her symptoms with a CT scan.
Her workup revealed no abnormalities.


Diane Gilmore, CMT, AHDI-F
Director of Education/Instructor