Compound Nouns

Compound nouns are nouns that consist of two or more words.

In this lesson, we will learn types of compound nouns, how to form plural compound nouns and how to pronounce compound nouns.

Related Topics:
More Lessons on Nouns and English Grammar

IELTS, TOEFL and English as a Second Language

Types of Combined Nouns

A Combined Compound Noun is a noun in which multiple words are combined into a single word. It is also called solid or closed compound noun. Some examples are sunrise, baseball, wallpaper.

A Hyphenated Compound Noun is a noun that uses hyphens to bring together multiple words. Some examples are blue-green, mother-of-pearl, rent-a-car.

A Separated Compound Noun is a noun made up of two or more separated words with no hyphen between them. It is also called open or spaced compound noun. Some eaxmples are science fiction, candy bar, ice hockey.

Compound Nouns
How to identify and utilize compound nouns
A Combined Compound Noun is a noun in which multiple words are combined into a single word.
A Hyphenated Compound Noun is a noun that uses hyphens to bring together multiple words.
A Separated Compound Noun is a noun made up of two or more separated words with no hyphen between them.



Grammar Nouns - Compound Nouns
Types of Compound Nouns: Closed Form, Open Form, Hyphenated Form



Plural Compund Nouns

Many compound nouns are written as one word.
Their plural is formed in the regular way.



Singular

Plural

classroom

classrooms

dishwasher

dishwashers

screwdriver

screwdrivers


Some compound nouns are written as two words, or two words joined by a hyphen.
The plural is formed by adding s to the second word.

Singular

Plural

book club

book clubs

fire engine

fire engines

ice-cream

ice-creams

baby-sitter

baby-sitters


Some compound nouns consist of three or more hyphenated words.
If the first wood is a noun then add s to the first word.

Singular

Plural

son-in-law

sons-in-law

lady-in-waiting

ladies-in-waiting

lily-of-the-valley

lilies-of-the-valley

passer-by

passers-by


If the first word is not a noun then add s to the end of the compound word.

Singular

Plural

two-year-old

two-year-olds

forget-me-not

forget-me-nots


Pronunciation of Compound Nouns

In compound nouns, the stress usually falls in the first syllable.
Have a look at the following videos for lessons on the pronunciation of compound nouns.

Pronouncing Compound Nouns
The intonation of compound nouns



Compound Nouns and Pronunciation
How to pronounce compound nouns?



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