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Compound Noun

Term Definition
Compound Noun

Compound nouns are words for people, animals, places, things, or ideas, made up of two or more words. Most compound nouns are made with nouns that have been modified by adjectives or other nouns.

What are compound nouns?

Would you like to learn about the meaning of the compound noun in English grammar?

If you answered yes, then this web page provided by Ultius is the perfect place for you. Please keep reading in order to improve your understanding of the compound noun. 

The compound noun is just a noun that has been formed through the conjunction of two English words

Structurally, the compound noun is usually formed through a noun plus a noun, or an adjective plus a noun. 

For example, "bedroom" is a compound noun formed by the nouns bed and room.

How to use compound nouns in sentences

Here is an example for you of the compound noun being used correctly within a sentence. 

"According to Greek mythology, Hades is a god who is the brother of Zeus and the ruler of the underworld." 

In this sentence, "underworld" is a correctly used compound noun. 

Now, here is an example of the incorrect use of the compound noun. 

"The high school foot ball team had a strong reputation in the neighborhood for playing a rather rough game."

In this sentence, "high school" and "football" are each a compound noun, but they are incorrectly formed. 

Here are some rules, now, that you can follow in order to make sure you're using the compound noun in a correct way. 

1. In order to identify a compound noun, just think about whether the word can be separated into two other meaningful words. If it can, then you're looking at a compound noun. The matter is really as simple as that. 

2. The main difficulty with the compound noun is knowing exactly how to form it in a correct way. Some of them have no space between the two parts, some of them have a space, and some of them have a hyphen. You usually learn the right forms for the compound noun through practice. 

Additional information - Usage and explanation

The compound noun provides an effective way of conveying new ideas in the English language through the conjunction of existing ideas. Naturally, this makes it considerably easier for people to actually understand the new ideas. For example, it makes a great deal of logical sense to form the compound noun "sunrise" through the particle nouns sun and rise: the compound noun vividly conveys what exactly it is talking about. Likewise, it also makes sense to narrow down the word "machine" by specifying its function (washing machine, counting machine, et cetera). In fact, many compound nouns have in fact become so common by now that people probably don't even recognize that they are formed through the conjunction of other nouns. 

Compound nouns clearly provided early language users and developers with an easy way of expanding their vocabulary and capacity to identify objects in the world. This was probably especially the case back when written language was more pictorial in nature. For example, if someone wanted to write sunrise, then he may have literally put the glyph for sun next to the glyph for rise in order to produce this compound noun. This is highly logical from both grammatical and pragmatic standpoints. It is thus easy to understand why the compound noun is a popular aspect of English grammar. 

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Synonyms: compound-noun

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