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Compound Nouns (2)

Sometimes a noun + noun is not a appropriate and instead, we use noun + ‘s + noun (possessive form) or noun + preposition + noun. In general, we prefer noun + ‘s + noun: when the first noun is the user (a person or animal) or users of the item in the second noun:

Example: a baby ‘ s bedroom

Example: a lion’ s den

Example: a woman ‘ s clinic

When the item in the second noun is produced by the thing (often an animal) in the first:

Example: goat’s cheese

Example: duck’s eggs

Example: cow’s milk

When we want to talk about parts of people or animals; but we usually use noun + noun to talk about parts of things. Compare:

Example: a woman’s face

Example: a boy’s arm

Example: a cow’s neck

We prefer noun + preposition + noun: when we talk about some kind of container together with its contents. Compare:

Example (1): a cup of tea (= a cup with tea in it)

Example (2): a tea cup (= a cup for drinking tea from)

Example (1): a box of matches (= a box with matches in)

Example (2): a matchbox (= a box made to put matches in)

When the combination of nouns does not necessarily refer to a well – known class of items. Compare:

Example: a grammar book (a well – known class of books) but

Example: a book about cats (rather than ‘ a cat book’)

Example: income tax (a recognized class of tax) but

Example: a tax on children’s clothes (rather than ‘ a children’s clothes tax’)

Some compound nouns are made up of nouns and prepositions or adverbs, and related to two – and three – word verbs. Compare:

Example: Mansen broke out of the prison by dressing as a woman. (= escaped) and

: There was a major break – out from the prison last night. (= prisoners escaped)

Example: Everyone has put in a lot of effort to make the course successful.and

: Universities in Germany and Denmark will have an input into the project.

Example: I lay down on the sofa and was soon asleep. and

: You look tired.Why don’t you go and have a lie – down.

Countable compound nouns related to two – and three – word verbs have a plural form ending in – s:

Example: read – out (s)

Example: push – up (s)

Example: outcome (s)

However,there are exceptions. For example:

Example: looker (s) – on (or onlooker (s))

Example: runner (s) – up

Example: passer (s) – by

We can form others kinds of hyphenated phrases that are placed before nouns to say more precisely what the noun refer to:

Example: a state – of – the art (= very modern) computer

Example: day – to – day (= regular) control

Example: a security – card – operated door

Source by Chathrine Thandar Oo

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