• Compound Nouns

    A compound noun is a noun that is made up of two or more words. Most compound nouns in English are formed by nouns modified by other nouns or adjectives.

    For example:

    The words tooth and paste are each nouns in their own right, but if you join them together they form a new word - toothpaste.  The word black is an adjective and board is a noun, but if you join them together they form a new word - blackboard.

    In both these example the first word modifies or describes the second word, telling us what kind of object or person it is, or what its purpose is. And the second part identifies the object or person in question.

    Compound nouns can also be formed using the following combinations of words:-

    Noun

    +

    Noun

    toothpaste

    Adjective

    +

    Noun

    monthly ticket

    Verb

    +

    Noun

    swimming pool

    Preposition

    +

    Noun

    underground

    Noun

    +

    Verb

    haircut

    Noun

    +

    Preposition

    hanger on

    Adjective

    +

    Verb

    dry-cleaning

    Preposition

    +

    Verb

    output

    Snowman

    The two parts may be written in a number of ways:-

    1. Sometimes the two words are joined together.
    Example:
    tooth + paste = toothpaste | bed + room = bedroom

    2. Sometimes they are joined using a hyphen.
    Example:
    check-in

    3. Sometimes they appear as two separate words.
    Example:
    full moon

    A good dictionary will tell you how you should write each compound noun.