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A compound noun is a noun that is made up of two or more words. The words that form compound nouns may be joined together, separated or hyphenated.

Examples: Joined: bookcase, blackboard, pushcart

Separated: high school, rabbit hutch, radar gun

Hyphenated: go-getter, mother-in-law, sergeant –at-arms

Compound nouns are usually a combination of two or more word classes.

 

The most common combinations are as follows;

  1. a) Some are formed by joining a noun with another noun.

Most of these compound nouns take their plurals in the last words.

Examples: Tableroom (s) grassroot (s) prizefighter(s)

Cubboard (s) policeman/men rubber-stamp (s)

Bookcase(s) farmhouse (s) sanitary towel (s)

Cowshed (s) fruit machine (s) shoulder blade (s)

  1. b) Some are formed by joining a verb and an adverb.

Most of these compound nouns also take their plurals in the last words.

 

Examples:

Breakfast (s) push-up (s) rundown (s)

Takeaway (s) knockout (s) slip-up (s)

Sit-up (s) meltdown (s)

  1. c) Some compound nouns are formed by joining an adjective and a noun. Most of these also take their plurals in the last words.

Examples:

Hotdog(s) polar bear(s) safe guard (s)

Blackboard(s) quicksand

Highway (s) remote control (s)

Nuclear power right angle (s)

  1. d) Some are formed by joining a verb and a noun. Most of these also take their plurals in the last words.
See also  FUTURE TENSE

Examples:

Driveway (s) playground (s) spend thrift (s)

Breakdance pushchair (s) go-getter (s)

Mincemeat screwdriver (s)

Password (s) spare wheel (s)

  1. e) Some ore formed by joining an adverb and a noun.

Most of these also take their plural in the last words

 

Examples:

Overdraft (s) overcoats (s) backyards (s)

Backbencher (s) undercoat (s ) backbone (s)

Backlog (s) underwear ( s) oversight ( s)

  1. f) A few compound nouns are formed by joining an adverb and a verb. These ones also take their plurals in the last words.

Examples:

Outbreak (s) Backlash ( s) Output ( s)

Outburst (s) Outcast (s) input (s)

  1. g) A few others are formed by joining a noun and a verb. They also take their plurals in the last words

Examples:

Nosedive (s)

Nightfall (s)

  1. h) A number of compound nouns are formed by joining two nouns by use f hyphens and a short preposition in between.

These compound nouns always take their plurals in the first words.

Examples:

Commander (s) – in- chief Sergeant (s) -at-arms

Mother(s)-in-laws sister(s)-in-law

Play(s)-within-play

 

Exercise 11

Underline the compound nouns in the following sentences and write down their plural forms where possible.

  1. John wants to be a quantity surveyor when he grows up.
  2. Rainwater had washed away all the top soil.
  3. The footballer was shown a red card by the referee.
  4. Neither candidate won the elections, forcing a runoff.
  5. The goalkeeper saved a penalty in the second half.
  6. He killed the wild pig with a sledge hammer
  7. Njoroge’s tape-recorder was stolen yesterday.
  8. The theatregoer was disappointed with the show
  9. Size 8’s latest song has caused an uproar
  10. He attempted a creative writing workshop
See also  BECE ENGLISH LANGUAGE APP (JSS)

 

See also

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Astronomy

PUNCTUATION

Capitalization

QUESTION TAGS

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