I'm writing an essay for college admissions, and this snippet is highlighted by my auto-correct as incorrect:

There are many obstacles I face while working on a project, most of which take a lot of time and energy to fix or work around.

I can't see anything wrong with using work around in this context, but I'd like to know how to correctly use this phrase.

  • 4
    Your intuition is correct, and your auto-correct is auto-wrong. This has been covered before for login vs. log in, backup vs. back up, fallback vs. fall back, payoff and pay off, and so on and so forth. The answer is always exactly the same, noun vs. verb, but your auto-correct simply failed to pick up that this is a verb (if it is capable of distinguishing between parts of speech at all).
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 10, 2013 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Work around is a phrasal verb. Work-around is a noun (often written workaround, without the hyphen). Your example uses the verb, so it is correct as written. Ignore the auto-correct suggestion in this case.

  • 1
    Isn't that GR :)
    – Kris
    Oct 10, 2013 at 7:55
  • 1
    Yeah, but the OP didn't know which reference to believe. Oct 10, 2013 at 8:12

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