'Up To' or 'Upto': Which is Correct?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on September 29, 2022

Whether to use 'up to' or 'upto' is a valid question. You will often find both spellings being used. But only one is correct.

'Up to' is the correct spelling. Spelling it with one word is never right.

Upto vs. Up to – Which is correct?

Upto in one word is an incorrect spelling of the word 'up to.' 'Up to' has many meanings, which I will list throughout this article.

Within a Limit

The first meaning 'up to' can take is that of a timeframe or maximum amount. For example:

  • An ostrich can run up to 70 km/h.
  • You can spend up to 10 dollars.
  • You can apply up to the 1st of October.

For the last example, please note that it is more common to use 'up until.' Like this:

You can apply up until the 1st of October.


'Up to' can also refer to what somebody is doing. It is often used to express suspicion around that activity (but not always).

  • What is she up to?
  • He is up to no good.
  • What have you been up to lately?


When the onus is on somebody to make a decision or to take responsibility for something, you can say it is up to them. For example:

  • It's up to you now; we've done everything we could.
  • I'm not sure what there is to do around here, so I'll leave it up to you.


If you want to say that someone is or isn't able to do something, you might say they are up to it. For example:

  • It's okay if you're not up to it; I know you haven't been feeling very well lately.
  • Don't worry; I'm up to the challenge!


A popular idiom uses 'up to,' and that is, "I've had it up to here." You can use it to express your exasperation with a person or situation.

  • I've had it up to here with your nonsense.
  • I think she's just had it up to here with all the changes. It's a lot to keep up with.

Beyond 'Up To' or 'Upto'

There are other prepositions in the English language that play a similar role to 'up to'. Here are some of them, and how to use them:

Onto, Into, On To, and In To

'Onto' and 'into' are prepositions that can be written as one word or two. This is partly the reason for the confusion around 'up to' vs. 'upto.' But unfortunately, the same rules don't apply.

'Onto' and 'on to' have different meanings, just as 'into' and 'in to' do. Let's see examples of 'onto' and 'on to' used in a sentence.

  • This game is really easy; I'm already onto level 4.
  • Hold on tight; we're about to go faster.

And now 'into' and 'in to'

  • I feel like I've stepped into a magical wonderland.
  • Please don't give in to his demands.

Of course, you need not worry about this if your only concern is how to spell 'up to,' but it's worth knowing that not all prepositions operate under the same rules.

Let's Get Up-To-Date

There is one more variation of 'up to' that I want to tell you about, and that is the hyphenated version.

'Up to' here is attached to a noun via hyphens and qualifies the noun to say that something has reached a certain standard. We should treat it as a word as a whole.

Here are some examples of hyphenated versions of 'up to':

  • Up-to-date
  • Up-to-speed
  • Up-to-scratch
  • Up-to-par

To Conclude For 'Up To' or 'Upto'

I hope you feel more confident now in spelling 'up to.'

In summary, 'up to' is the correct spelling and can never be spelled 'upto.'

If you need a tip to memorize the correct spelling, remember, the clue is in the word itself: two. Okay, it is not technically the number two in the word, but if you say both confusing words out loud, they sound the same!

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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