The word setup (as a noun), I feel, has become an acceptable part of the English language, at least insofar as technical manuals or computer textbooks are concerned. However I find that the word is used very often in verb form like so:

"You can setup the program quite easily ..."

when in fact my understanding is that the actual sentence should be:

"You can set up the program quite easily ..."

I would like to know if setup can be used as a verb. The situation seems be very similar to the word output (as a noun). Output is a purely technical word and its use is restricted solely to technical texts or at least in a technical context within non-technical books. However it is also used in verb form now like so:

"The system will output the signal ..."

I would be very grateful if this question is answered. Thank you


1 Answer 1


I suspect the use of "setup" as a verb - in writing - is mostly due to laziness, not wanting to add a space.

Consider pronunciation though. When I speak, at least, "setup" comes out more quickly and the emphasis is on the e. When I say "set up", it's a bit slower because of the word separation and the emphasis is on the u, if anywhere. Do you hear that as well in conversation?

In any case, grammatically, I find no version of "setup" that could be used as a verb, and all the dictionaries I've checked so far have it down as a noun.

  • That's an interesting observation about the pronunciation. Although I have been pedantic about using "set up" in writing, I must confess to using "setup" in speech. Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 2:46

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