Ducks in order? Lineup vs. line-up vs. line up

Here is a lineup of words that you’ll want to get right: lineup, line-up and line up.

Lineup (no space) is a noun meaning a set of people, as in This year’s lineup at Operapalooza featured several great tenors.

Line up (a space between the words) is a verb meaning to place in a row, as in The Homecoming court will line up at 9 p.m. sharp.

Line-up isn’t a word, though some people erroneously use it as an adjective. Instead, use lineup (no space), as in The lineup order is from tallest to shortest.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.