'Up To Date' or 'Up-To-Date': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 26, 2023

Wondering whether to spell this phrase ‘up to date’ or ‘up-to-date’? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use both spellings of the phrase in a sentence.

In short, the difference is:

  • ‘Up To Date’ is the most common way to spell the phrase, and it means including the latest information.
  • ‘Up-To-Date’ is used as a compound modifier before a noun. For example, you’d use this when you’re describing something (i.e., up-to-date systems). Otherwise, use the other spelling of the phrase.

People often confuse these phrases, but they have slightly different usages.

Is It ‘Up to Date’ or ‘Up-To-Date’?

As we just went over, the hyphenated version of this phrase is only used with modifying a noun.

For example, you might use the phrase to describe the news (i.e., the most up-to-date news).

You can use the non-hyphenated phrase in any other case (i.e., my computer is up to date with the latest anti-virus software).

Is ‘Up To Date’ Hyphenated?

So, you might be wondering if the phrase should be hyphenated.

Well, not all the time.

As we just explained, the hyphenated version of the word is only used when modifying a noun. You can use the non-hyphenated version in all other cases.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Up to Date’ and ‘Up to ‘Date’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of these phrases extends up to the present time or includes the latest information.

It essentially means modern.

Synonyms of the phrases include:

  • Contemporary
  • Modernistic
  • Hot
  • Current
  • New
  • New Age
  • Present-Day
  • Up-to-the-minute
  • Red-hot

A Brief History

The first known use of the phrase was in 1887, and it means the same thing it means today.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Up to Date’

Wondering how to pronounce the phrase? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce the phrase ‘up to date’ use the phonetic spelling: UHp TOO dAYt

How to Use ‘Up To Date’ in a Sentence

Now that you know how to pronounce the phrase and what it means, let’s look at a few more example sentences.

  • I always make sure my laptop is up to date with the latest software.
  • Let’s get up-to-date reports on the fire in Texas on my desk as quickly as possible.
  • Bring me up to date on what’s going on with you and your new boyfriend.
  • Get up to date with the principal’s new policies, and then you can come back to work.
  • No one keeps me up to date on what’s going on in the family.

How to Use ‘Up-To-Date’ in a Sentence

Now, let’s see some examples of how to use the hyphenated version.

  • We have the latest up-to-date news here on Channel 7 News.
  • Ms. Travis gave us an up-to-date homework packet since the last one was from last school year.
  • We’ve got the most up-to-date textbooks there are. This is a good school.
  • I’ve got the most up-to-date report on my co-worker’s condition and reported back to everyone back at the office.
  • We don’t need the most up-to-date TV. I’m happy with the one we have now.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Up to Date’ and ‘Up-To-Date’

As you learned, these phrases we’ve been discussing sound the same and mean the same thing, but they have slightly different usages. Therefore, you shouldn’t try to use them interchangeably. Only use the hyphenated version when modifying a noun.

If you ever get stuck on this, you can always come back for additional help. We’ve also got a ton of other content on other confusing words and phrases you might come across while learning the language. Go check it out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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