Hardworking or Hard-Working?

Hardworking and hard-working are both correct. The term hardworking is the correct spelling in American English. E.g., “She is a hardworking woman.” Contrastingly, the term hard-working as two words with a hyphen is the British English spelling. E.g., “We want hard-working people to apply.”

Despite both versions being correct, hardworking is more popular worldwide. Therefore, if you are in doubt, use hardworking.

Here are some examples of the two forms of hardworking.

  • My wife and I are both very hardworking.
  • My father was a hard-working man.

There is no difference in meaning between the two examples. In both cases, you could interchange one form with the other, and it is still correct grammar.

However, make sure you are consistent in your writing by using the same version throughout.

Furthermore, when writing in AP Style, you should follow the above guidelines regarding consistency.

Now that you have learned the basics about the term hardworking, please keep reading the rest of the page to learn more about the terms and how to use them.


The term hardworking as one word is the American version of the spelling. Moreover, it is the more common spelling form in the US and worldwide.

You use the term hardworking when you want to describe that somebody works hard or well.

Here are some examples of hardworking in a sentence.

  • Gary is a hardworking man who deserves a promotion.

In addition to using the word to talk about humans, you can also refer to animals.

  • A farmer’s dog must be hardworking and intelligent.


The term hard-working is a compound word that you can use to describe someone or something that works hard or well.

There is no difference in meaning between the hyphenated and non-hyphenated versions.

Here are some examples of hard-working in a sentence.

  • Mary is a hard-working teacher.
  • All her students are incredibly hard-working.

As you can see, we use the hyphen regardless of whether the word is in front of a noun or is it is at the end of the sentence.

The term hard-working with a hyphen was originally the more common of the two forms in American English.

However, in recent decades the one-word alternative hardworking has become more common in the US. In the UK, hard-working is still the slightly more common way of writing the term.

Hard Working

You should not write the term hard working as two words without a hyphen when you use it as a compound modifier to describe a person. It is incorrect.

For this context, there are two correct ways you can write the term hard working.

  • Correct: My sister is a very hard-working woman.
  • Correct: My sister is a very hardworking woman.
  • Incorrect: My sister is a very hard working woman.

Furthermore, there are some situations where you may see the words hard working together without a hyphen. However, it would not be in the adjective form but rather the adjective-verb combination.

  • It was hard working the night shift at my last job.