Home LanguageGrammar “High school” vs. “highschool” (Grammatically Correct)

“High school” vs. “highschool” (Grammatically Correct)

by Logan

In this article, I will be discussing all the ambiguities regarding the spellings and grammar of “High school” and “highschool” along with the marked differences among them. Moreover, the correct use of these words will also be addressed.

People write the same words in a variety of ways and spellings. They pronounce it in an other way while using it alternately. The same goes for “high school” and “highschool” Sometimes it’s written as two words and occasionally as a single one. But one of them is grammatically incorrect i.e. highschool.

What is the difference between “high school” and “highschool”?

There are different levels of education i.e. Primary, secondary (middle), and higher secondary (higher education). High school is the word used to represent the upper secondary level of education body, after which students pursue higher education. High school is used as a noun; countable, uncountable, and proper.

A high school is a place where students can finish all or part of their secondary education. The term “high school” is frequently used in conjunction with the name of a secondary school. Different countries use terms like “secondary school” or “secondary college.”

There is no significant contrast between them, yet one is used as a noun and the other as a phrasal adjective. The difference is only in the spacing. The hyphenated version is the most common after the compound word. The earlier one is of standard English while the latter is not, it may be added to the dictionary in the future.

Is school and “high school” same?

High school and a school are not the same. A school is a place where students are meant to learn and acquire the basic education. It has a general meaning. “High school” is a subdivision providing further clarification to a school, where the education availed is specific to the students interests etc.

Secondary schools or middle schools are also named high schools. Students graduate when they are 16 or 18 years of age.

Is “highschool” even a word?

High school is the proper way to address an institute providing upper secondary education. It is favorable to write it as two separate words. In contrast to that, “highschool” is read as a compound word used as an adjective or just a misspelled word.

Whenever I write “highschool”, it is underlined or flagged by writing applications while high school is not. It is considered as bad grammar or not an accurate spelling. A lot of people make this mistake while writing this word, which ultimately makes it socially unacceptable.

Even if it is used as an adjective, it should be written as two words, “high school is correct” while “highschool” is incorrect. Hence, it is considered a spelling mistake, spell-check is necessary for this purpose through online sources.

But using highschool as a single word is not a crime. I’m sure many of you have heard or used the incorrect term “highschool”. Some grammar snobs may throw their toys out with the bathwater, but I’d like to defend those who get it “wrong.” To begin with, grammar rules are subject to change.

For example, “another” was written as “an other” previously. Similarly in my childhood “altogether” was considered the right word, now it’s “all together. The same goes for “Already” and “all ready”.

To put it in a blunt manner, no, highschool is not a word and is extremely inaccurate.

What does High school mean?

In the United States and Canada, high school is the educational experience that students have between the ages of 13 and 18. High schools, deliver phase three of the ISCED educational model. Once you reach high school, there will be a variety of subjects to choose from, all of your own choice.

While, in other countries, the term “high school” is used, there is no universal generalization about the age range, financial status, or ability level of the students accepted. The definition of high school is mentioned in UK English Dictionary. Most “highschools” in North America have grades nine through twelve, and students attend them after finishing junior high (middle school).

It’s pretty clear what a high school is, right?

When do people write “highschool” rather than “high school”?

People write highschool to define behavior, or to use it as an adjective. When addressed as a building or an institute, it is used as two words.

  • We studied together in high school
  • Both of them seemed to argue which portrayed their so-called highschool attitude.

In contrast to that, sometimes people don’t double-check what they’re writing. Therefore, they misspell some of the words and eradicate the spaces in them. They don’t find it important to pay attention to spelling and grammar. Therefore, another reason for writing high school as “highschool.”

Check out these 100 commonly misspelled words in English.

Is high school supposed to be a single word or two?

It’s two separate words because it’s not a compound noun like ‘highlight’ or ‘highlands,’ and while it’s occasionally hyphenated as ‘high-school,’ this is much less common now than it was in the nineteenth century. In different languages, it’s perceived differently.

Some of the examples I have discussed are below.

  • The German compound noun Hochschule is cognate with ‘high school,’ but it refers to a place of tertiary education, such as a university, rather than a place of secondary education, as it usually does in English.
  • The most notable example is Highschool of the Dead, the title of a manga series, the Japanese title of which is a transliteration of the English Haisukru obu za Deddo.

What is the correct way to write “high school”?

The most accurate manner to write high school is to have spacing between both the words i.e. high school.

Separating “high” and “school” is the right way to do it.

How is high school written mostly?

Most of the time it is written as two separate words.

The term “high school” is a noun, and the term “high” is an adjective that describes something else. High school does not imply being close to the sky but rather being very important. If you’re teaching English or are a formal English writer, use “high school” as two separate words.

In my opinion, it should be written as two words because it is the combination of two words; “high” and “school. “In UK English dictionary, it’s defined as high school. It’s sometimes written as a single word by educators or educational organizations, such as school boards.

This is a familiar phenomenon because specialists frequently use compound words before the general public, some examples are listed below.

  • Menswear in the clothing industry
  • Foodservice industry.

“High school”, “high school” or “high-school”?

It is determined by how frequently the compound noun is used by people and how long it has been used. It also depends on how important it is to keep the two words together to avoid ambiguity; for example, a blackbird could be any blackbird, but a black bird is a specific type of bird.

  • An open compound noun is “high school.”
  • A closed compound noun is “blackbird.”
  • A hyphenated compound noun is “dry-cleaning.”

I have observed that compound nouns are frequently hyphenated. But every era has their ways of doing things.

People used to write “I went on line” in the early 1980s. However, after some time they started writing, “I went online.” And now they write, “I went online.” So, an individual way of writing is seen in evolving ages, which defies the use of hyphens and spaces in everyone’s way of writing.

Books and blocks stacked above each other with apple on the top of the books showing use of alphabets to create a word along with  grammar check
Reading helps in practicing correct grammar usage.

What does the dictionary have to say about “high school”?

High school, which is written as two separate words is correct while “highschool” is not. Highschool is incorrect even when used as an adjective. High-school is somewhat used by native English speakers but highschool usage is not encouraged at all.

The Collins English Dictionary and Webster’s Online Dictionary, for example, both list “high school” as the correct spelling. So, the exact spellings have no ambiguity to be misspelled now.

Apart from “highschool” and “high school” there are bunch of words in English vocabulary which are misspelled, mispronounced and written inaccurately.

Common spellingsAccurate spellings
1AknowledgementAcknowledgment
2AquireAcquire
3GrammerGrammar
4EntrepeneurEntrepreneur
5FulfillFulfil
6An otherAnother
7SeperateSeparate
8MaintainanceMaintenance
9LisenceLicense
10RecieveReceive
10 Most commonly misspelled words

Some of the frequently mistaken words are listed in the table above. They can be corrected by consulting a dictionary or using a guide.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, High school is a place where students finish secondary level of education while “highschool” is a misspelled words which is considered inaccurate.

If you are planning to use either of these words in any of your publications or academic papers, I would suggest using “high school” as two separate words. This is free of any spelling mistakes and grammatically correct as well.

There are many books available on amazon which provide a great guide about the rules of grammar and punctuation. Apart from that, the informal use of “highschool” can be done while texting and discussing but avoid its usage in formal areas. The most accurate form of this is as “high” and “school”, having space between them.

Whenever you encounter queries similar to these, always consult thesaurus and dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster along with other style guides to improve the accuracy of your vocabulary and grammar.

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