An Email I Sent to a Web Marketing Site

My wife and I are interested in learning to weld, and as part of our research, we checked out a site that advertised welding lessons. The site has a good example of how not to use separable verbs, so I wrote him about it. I spent enough time on the email that it’s worth including here. The subject line was “We might order your materials… .” Here’s what I wrote:

…and thank you for the free sample. My wife and I plan to read it carefully.

I’m a tech writer, so I’ll reciprocate with a free sample of my own. The person or company you hired to do your marketing website doesn’t know about separable verbs, and it makes you look uneducated. I understand you’re a welder, not a grammarian, but still, they ought to know better.

Here’s a sample from page 6 of your MIG freebie pdf:
When you first setup your MIG machine you’ll have to feed this wire through the rollers.
As far as setup goes, that’s about all there is to setting up a MIG welder, and that’s why they’re so great for beginners.
The second sentence is correct (both times), the first one is not.
Here are the rules:
  •  If it’s a verb, it’s two words, so you’d write “to set up a MIG welder…” (in your sentence: When you first set up your…”) (If you can imagine going up to the front of the room and doing it, it’s a verb.)
  • If it’s a noun, it’s one word, so you’d write “when you’re done, your setup should look tidy.” (If you can put “the” in front of it, it’s a noun.)
  • If it’s an adjective, you hyphenate it, so you might have a tidy set-up situation. (Adjectives generally go right in front of nouns.)
TEST: on this page,, the link that says “How to setup your welding shop
Should it be “set up” or “setup”?
Best wishes,
Rogers George
ANS: It should be “set up.”