I know we have done this before but… Distinguishing “awhile/a while” need not continue to be an issue. As one word, “awhile” is an adverb; as two words, “a while” is a noun. Each means “for an indefinite period of time.” There are some contexts that demand that it be two words, that is, that call for a noun. …in …

“Into” versus “In To”

There is an instance where either option works, depending upon what you want to say. If “work” is the physical place, “into” is one word; if “work” is the activity, then “in to” is two words. …He came into work. (the physical location) …He came in to work. (to do the job) Happy punctuating! Margie

“Sometime/Some Time”

Some extra hints about the differences between one word and two: “Sometime” as an adjective means “occasional” or “here today/gone tomorrow.” …He is a sometime friend. “Some time” is an adjective and noun combination. “Time” is the noun. There are times when it has to be two words because the grammar calls for a noun. Here the word “time” is …

What Some Call a “Verb Phrase”

If you have the word take and it is followed by an adverb, the meaning changes depending on the adverb that is added: take in, take over, take off, take up, take on. The form of the combination is determined by its part of speech. …He is planning to take over his father’s practice. …The hostile takeover was successful. It …

“Sometime/Some Time”

  Often the grammar of the sentence determines the one-word/two-word difference for the word sometime. If it is the object of a preposition, it has to be two words. …for some time… …at some time… In these expressions, the word time is the main noun. You cannot say “ago” or “back” by themselves. So you need two words. …some time …

“…Went Into/In To Work…”

Whether it is into or in to depends upon the meaning and part of speech of the word work. If work means the action of doing the job and is therefore a verbal, it is two words, in to. If work is a physical location and is therefore a noun, it is one word, into. And I don’t think you can …

“Everyday” or “Every Day”?

As one word, everyday comes in front of a noun and means “ordinary,” “routine,” “habitual,” or “commonplace.” Otherwise, it is every day. …It is an everyday job. …She had those everyday tasks that drove her crazy. …I was there every day last week. …Will you do that every day? Happy punctuating! Margie

“Affect” and “Effect” Once Again

Putting aside the psychiatric term, you want effect if you have a noun and affect if you have a verb EXCEPT… If you can substitute “bring about” or “make happen” with a verb, it is effect. …This will effect changes in the way we do business. …New conditions will be effected when we enforce this new law. …The death of …

“Turn Into”

This particular phrase, turn into, is an idiom which means “to become.” …When he drinks, he turns into a monster. So with the word turn, unless the meaning is “to become,” in to has to be two words. …He turned in to the driveway. …He turned in to the roadway. But …He pulled into the driveway. …He pulled into the roadway. …

“A While” Is Always Okay!

There is no need to be a quandary over awhile versus a while. It can always be two words. It has to be two words after a preposition and in “a while ago” and “a while back.” …there for a while… …called in a while… …saw him a while ago… …remember it from a while back… English has something called …