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Compound nouns

A compound noun is a noun that consists of two or more different words. Most compound nouns are formed by combining two nouns or an adjective and a noun. Toothpaste (noun+noun) is an example of a compound that combines two nouns. Greenhouse (adjective+noun) is a combination of an adjective and a noun.


Compound nouns can also be formed in the following ways 

Noun
+
Noun
bodyguard
travel agent
chat-room
Adjective
+
Noun
greenhouse
full moon
highway
Preposition
+
Noun
underground
input
bycatch
Verb
+
Noun
driving license
answering machine
breakfast
Noun
+
Preposition
hanger on
love-in
Noun
+
Verb
haircut
rainfall
Verb
+
Preposition
check-in
build-up
Adjective
+
Verb
dry cleaning


Compound nouns are written as a single word or separate words. Hypens are also used in some compound nouns.
  1. closed or solid compound nouns (one word): snowman, sunflower, bathroom, etc.
  2. open or spaced compound nouns (two separate words): car park, washing machine, etc.
  3. hyphenated compound nouns (joined by a hyphen): mather-in-law, fire-fly, check-out, etc.

Plurals of compound nouns

Closed compound nouns form their plurals by adding  -s/-es to the end.

Singular
Plural
whiteboard
whiteboards
toothbrush
toothbrushes
haircut
haircuts

Compound nouns written with hyphens or spaces pluralize the base word.

Singular
Plural
attorney-general
attorneys-general
father-in-law
fathers-in-law
heir apparent
heirs apparent
man-of-war
men-of-war
sergeant major
sergeants major
step-parent
step-parents
washing machine
washing machines


Compound nouns



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