Fulltime or Full-Time or Full Time?

Full-time with a hyphen is correct, and you can use it to modify nouns in a sentence. E.g., “She has a new full-time job.” Furthermore, full time is also correct and modifies verbs in a sentence. E.g., “He isn’t working full time.” Also, fulltime as one word is incorrect.

The term full-time refers to doing something such as a job or course for around eight hours per day.

There are two correct ways to write the term full-time, and the version you choose depends on what type of word it is and which word it modifies.

According to the Associated Press Stylebook, you should follow the following rule concerning using a hyphen.

The word full-time with a hyphen is a compound adjective, meaning it must modify a noun. For example, in this sentence, the word full-time modifies the noun position.

  • My new full-time position pays double what my old part-time job paid.

In addition, the version of full time without the hyphen is an adverb. This means it must describe how a verb is performed.

In this example, we see that full time modifies the present continuous verb working. Therefore, we do not need a hyphen.

  • I am working full time at the moment until I go back to school.

Remembering the grammar rules regarding compound words, such as full-time, can be tricky, and you wouldn’t want to get it wrong. That’s why you should read the rest of the article, where we explain more about using full-time in writing.


The term full-time is a compound word that you can use to indicate that something happens for around eight hours per day.

You usually use this term to refer to work, courses, and education, but you can also use it for other things.

In the instances when full-time is an adjective, it must modify a noun. So, for example, in this sentence, full-time modifies the word course.

  • I am starting a full-time French course next week.

Here are some more examples of how to use full-time in a sentence:

  • After graduating, she secured a full-time position at a reputable law firm.
  • Transitioning from part-time to full-time work can be challenging for some.
  • He’s considering going back to school while maintaining his full-time job.
  • Being a full-time parent while managing professional responsibilities requires immense dedication and effort.

However, although the above guidance is the rule that you should use for AP Style, there are some variations.

For instance, the Chicago Manual of Style uses the hyphenated version when full-time is an adjective and when it is an adverb.

Also in the UK and in the US, the hyphenated version of full-time is still more common than full time.

Full Time

The term full time as two words without a hyphen is an adverb that modifies verbs in a sentence.

You will often use full time to refer to working and studying, although it can also refer to other things.

In the following sentences, the word full time modifies the verbs working, study, writing, farm, and tutoring:

  • I have been working full time the last few weeks to save extra money.
  • She decided to study full time instead of taking evening classes.
  • After freelancing for years, he’s now writing full time for a major publishing house.
  • They moved to the countryside to farm full time, leaving behind their city lives.
  • Once he realized his passion for teaching, he began tutoring full time.

Furthermore, the Chicago Manual of Style specifies that both the adverb and the adjective should have a hyphen. Therefore, when writing in this style, do not use full time without a hyphen.

However, the term full time without a hyphen can also be a noun when it refers to the end of an event or the concept of full time.

In this case, you should never use a hyphen.

Here are some examples:

  • The referee whistled to signal full time.
  • The crowd eagerly awaited the result as the match approached full time.
  • With only a minute left before full time, the team managed to score a decisive goal.
  • The commentary grew tense as the match neared full time with both teams tied.

However, you should take care because if full-time is an adjective, remember that you need a hyphen. Such as in this example where full time is describing the type of whistle.

  • The full-time whistle came on 90 minutes.


The term fulltime as one word is an incorrect spelling, and you should not use it.

Furthermore, the phrase full time can be an adjective, adverb, or noun. Whether you use a hyphen or not often depends on the writing style.

However, according to the Chicago Manual of Style, you should use a hyphen when full-time is an adverb and an adjective.

  • He has a full-time job. (adjective)
  • She works full-time. (adverb)

Moreover, according to the Associated Press Stylebook, you should only use a hyphen when full-time is an adjective.

  • She is a full-time mother. (adjective)
  • She looks after her kids full time. (adverb)

As a noun, you should not use a hyphen with full-time.

  • The concept of full time in most countries is 38 hours per week. (noun)