A compound noun is a noun that is formed from two or more words. The meaning of the whole compound is often different from the meaning of the two words on their own. Compound nouns are very common. The main noun is normally the last one.
Compound nouns - Easy Learning Grammar
|washing machine||driving licence|
- noun + noun,
- verb + noun,
- adjective + noun,
- phrasal verb used as noun,
- particle + noun.
|noun + noun:||boyfriend||skinhead|
|verb + noun:||breakfast||grindstone|
|adjective + noun:||software||hardware|
|phrasal verb:||a break-in||a take-over|
|particle + noun:||onlooker||aftershave|
The term particle is used for a word which could be either an adverb or a preposition.Compound nouns can be written:
- as one word.
- as two words.
|post office||fire engine|
|eye shadow||cough sweets|
- with a hyphen.
A noun that is used as a modifier has the same function as an adjective. The first noun usually makes the second one more specific, but we do not think of it as part of a combination that forms a new word. See Adjectives for more on modifiers.
Nouns as modifiersThe compound noun girlfriend names a special sort of friend. Nouns can also be used as modifiers without forming a compound noun.
|a concrete slab||old oak beams|
|a car mechanic||a store manager|