What rule do you use to determine if a word is a compound word or two words ?

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    A common rule in determining whether a compound word should be one word or two is how the word is used in context. Phrases that have a verb/noun or verb/adjective combination should be two words if the combined term is a verb and one word if the compound word is a noun or description. For instance, “my car will never break down” uses “break” as a verb, whereas “Michael had a breakdown” uses “break” as part of a noun. This is useful in determining the difference between one and two word compound phrases.

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