Compound Nouns

Compound Nouns :

Words of different category (nouns, verb, adjective or adverbs) can be united to form nouns of this type. They usually have two parts. The first part of this type of noun tells you what kind of object or person it is or what the purpose of the noun is. The second part of this type of noun speaks about the object or person in question. These types of nouns often have a more specific meaning.

adjective + adjective

1. blue + green = blue-green

Noun + noun

1. Bed = room = bedroom
2. Water + tank = water-tank
3. motor + cycle = motorcycle
4. printer + cartridge = printer-cartridge
5. Traffic + jam = traffic-jam
6. Key + board = keyboard
7. Tooth + paste = Toothpaste
8. Foot + ball = Football
9. Fish + tank = fish tank
10. Birth + day = birthday

noun + verb

1. rain + fall = rainfall
2. hair + cut = hair-cut
3. train + spotting = train-spotting
4. brow + beat = browbeat

noun + adverb

1. looking + out = looking-out

noun + adjective

snow + white = snow white

verb + adverb = look-out

verb + noun = driving-license

verb + adverb = drawback

Plural and Possessive of this type of noun

To make a Plural form of this compound word, you usually have to add a S at the end of the word.

usually the “s” goes at the end of the main word
daughter-in-law = daughters-in-law
mayor-elect = mayors-elect

In few nouns of this type, we have to add the S at the end of the nouns.

go-betweens = go-betweens
higher-ups = higher-ups

When the noun is in the open form, the S is added to the main word in the noun.

bill of fare = bills of fare
assistant secretary of state = assistant secretaries of state
notary public = notaries public

To make a possessive form of this compound word, you usually have to add an apostrophe “s” at the end of the word.

mother-in-law = mother-in-law’s
hair-cut = hair-cut’s

To make a possessive form of the plural form compound word, you usually have to add an apostrophe “s” at the end of the noun. You will get a little strange with two “s” sounds close together.

mothers-in-law = mothers-in-law’s
fathers-in-law = fathers-in-law’s

The compound noun can be written either as a single word or as a word with a hyphen or as two words. There are no clear written rules for this formation of this type of nouns. A good rule of thumb is to write the most common one as one word and the others as two words.


  1. The Noun
  2. Kinds of Nouns
  3. Kinds of Nouns in English
  4. Types of Nouns in English
  5. Correct Usage of Nouns
  6. Classification of Nouns
  7. Proper Nouns
  8. Common Nouns
  9. Abstract Nouns
  10. Collective Nouns
  11. Nouns of Multitude
  12. Material Nouns
  13. Compound Nouns
  14. Concrete Nouns
  15. Countable Nouns
  16. Uncountable Nouns
  17. Count Nouns
  18. Mass Nouns
  19. Pronouns
  20. Abstract Nouns formed from Adjectives
  21. Abstract Nouns formed from Common Nouns
  22. Abstract Nouns formed from Verbs
  23. Abstract Nouns of the same form as Verbs
  24. Absolute Phrases
  25. Noun and Gender
  26. Nouns and Gender
  27. Masculine Nouns and Feminine Nouns
  28. Masculine Nouns
  29. Feminine Nouns
  30. Ways of forming the feminine of nouns
  31. Exceptional Masculine Nouns and Feminine Nouns
  32. Exceptional Feminine Nouns
  33. Foreign Feminine Nouns
  34. Nouns in Common Gender
  35. Common Gender Nouns
  36. Neuter Pronouns
  37. Neuter Gender Nouns
  38. Gender of Personified Things
  39. Noun and Case
  40. Kinds of Cases in English
  41. Noun and Number
  42. Singular and Plural
  43. Singular Nouns and Plural Nouns
  44. Ways of forming plurals
  45. Formation of Plurals
  46. Compound Nouns and Plurals
  47. Noun Infinitive
  48. Noun to Verb
  49. The Noun

Compound Nouns :

Compound Nouns To HOME PAGE

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