Sign up vs Signup vs Sign-up – What is the Difference?

(Last Updated On: March 12, 2018)

Sign up vs Signup vs Sign-up

Sign up vs Signup vs Sign-up

Did you sign up for that? Or did you signup for that? Better yet, did you sign-up for that? Confused yet? If you think they all mean the same thing, you would be wrong. Many do not realize that these words have unique meanings, and should be used in specific contexts. Let’s take a second and get this sign up vs signup vs sign-up thing figured out.

Sign up

This version of the word is a verbal phrase, which is used to refer to an action of signing up.  It means “to commit or agree to participate in an endeavor such as a class, the military or a race.” You can think of it as the act of putting your name on a list or contract. You can also use it in past tense, whereby you “signed up,” or the indicative is  “signing up”.

Example (Verb):She is going to sign up for the marathon this weekend.”


This version of the word is a noun.  It refers to a piece of paper, list or website, as examples, of where the signing up can take place. It can also be used as an adjective, where it acts to modify the place, piece of paper, website etc., where the sign up is occurring.

Example (Noun):The signup is available on the website to all registered users.”
Example (Adjective): “The signup site crashed because of too many users.”


Adding a third option into the mix is often where it can get confusing.  But this time it is pretty easy: sign-up can actually be used interchangeably with signup. That is, it is either a noun or used as an adjective.

If all of these different sign-up options confuse you, remember the following: Sign up is a verb phrase, while sign-up or signup function as a noun or an adjective. And now that you have that down, hopefully you’ll never make a mistake and have to sign up for a grammar lesson again!

Need more grammar help? Check out these other articles related to Language and Grammar.