Which to choose? Pickup vs. pick-up vs. pick up

How the word is spelled depends on which part of speech it is (See, you should have paid attention in junior high English class after all!).

“Pickup” is used when you have a noun or are referring to a thing, as in “Jacob drive his pickup to the prom” or “Sophia found that drinking a can of soda gave her a real pickup.”

“Pick-up” is an adjective that describes something, as in “Mason’s pick-up line surprisingly worked.” In this case, “pick-up” describes what kind of line it is.

“Pick up” is a verb, which shows that someone is “doing something,” as in “Pick up some milk on your way home tonight!”