Specifically, I am wondering how "Clean Up" should be capitalized. I have three plausible options:

  1. "Clean Up"
  2. "Clean-up"
  3. "Clean up"

It all really depends on what part of speech "up" is and whether it requires hyphenation.

I was thinking that "clean up" is a phrasal verb and... I don't know...

  • You need to give some context, John. Do you mean the words to be a Noun Phrase or a Verb Phrase? If a Verb Phrase, is the mood, as seems likely, imperative? Are they part of a title, or do they occur in a piece of continuous text? Oct 4, 2011 at 18:36
  • It is imperative, as a title to a section in a technical paper. Oct 4, 2011 at 18:39
  • Then for me it would be 'Clean up the tags and branches'. Phrasal verbs, in no matter what form, do not need a hyphen. Some people like to capitalize the intitial letters of all words in a title. That's fine, too. Oct 4, 2011 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


Working with Subversion, eh? :-)

As you said, clean up is a phrasal verb. Cleanup is a noun. (Hyphenation isn't appropriate for the verb form. If it were, I wouldn't capitalize "up.")

I agree with Barrie England's comment. You should capitalize "up" in the title because the linkage between the two words in a phrasal verb isn't as strong as if they were hyphenated.

  • Migrating from SVN to Git, actually. :) Oct 4, 2011 at 19:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.