Compound nouns

One way we invent new words is to make new words out of combining existing words. Here are some of the ways we make compound nouns.

  •  Verb plus adverb, or preposition and adverb, or preposition plus verb
    •  When the word order is verb plus adverb, you usually need a hyphen.     look-out, make-up, go-ahead
    • When the word order is adverb plus verb, you can usually write the compound noun as one word.     downpour, bypass, output
  • Verb plus noun, and noun plus verb
    Most verb-plus-noun and noun-plus-verb compound words are usually one word (scarecrow), though a few are hyphenated (sun-dry).
  • Noun plus noun
    Opinion differs on whether to hyphenate noun-plus-noun compound words, but they are usually hyphenated if both parts are of equal status.      owner-occupier, hocus-pocus
  • Adjective plus noun
    Adjective-plus-noun compound words are usually written as two words.     black market

Online grammar programs

If you want to learn more about grammar, register for one of Mary’s online grammar courses at www.onlinewritingtraining.com.au

 
 

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