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Learning Zone
Grammar

Nouns in function of adjectives & compound nouns

Level: B1
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COMPOUND NOUNS

NOUNS IN FUNCTION OF ADJECTIVES 

 Noun often functions as adjective determining another noun:

kitchen table
winter clothes

A noun used as adjective mostly determined:

materialpaper towel
steel door
cotton dress
timewinter holiday
Sunday paper
placegarden furniture
country lane
purposetin opener
skating rink
contentgrammar book
adventure film
affiliationchurch roof
book cover
driving force, fuel etc.gas stove
petrol engine
function, profession, abilities etc.card player
factory worker

In colloquial speech, many pairs of nouns, we write together:

  • hairdryer
  • dishwasher
  • sunglasses

COMPOUND NOUNS

There are common and compound nouns in English.

Common nouns do not arise from putting other words together:

  • book
  • girl
  • grammar
  • painting

Compound nouns are a combination of two or more words:

noun+ nounrainfall
farmhouse
noun+ -ingmushroom picking
water-skiing
ing+ nounliving room
swimming pool
preposition/ adverb + nounthe Underground
background
preposition+ verbunderwear
intake
adjective+ nounblackboard
hotline

Together, separately or with a conjunction?

There are no consistent rules in spelling compound noun. It is possible to find two ways of spelling the same word depending on the source:

farmhouse/ farm house
living room/ living-room

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