What Is Compounding?
Compounding is a word formation process in which two or more words are combined to create a new word with a new meaning. In a compound word, the meaning of the whole word is often different from the meanings of the individual words that make it up.
There are three types of compounding:
- Open Compounding: when there is a space between the two elements.
- Hyphenated Compounding: when there is a hyphen between the two words.
- Close Compounding: when the two elements are written together to create a new word.
There is no specific rule on how to write a compound word. Some words can be written in all three forms (
As a general rule, the words in a compound adjective are hyphenated when they are used before a noun (a
How to Form Compound Words?
There are several ways to make a compound word. Let us discuss them:
- Noun-noun compounds consist of two nouns combined together to make a noun.
- Verb-noun compounds consist of a verb that is placed before a noun to make a noun.
- Adjective-noun compounds consist of an adjective that comes before a noun to make a noun.
- Verb-noun compounds are formed when a verb is followed by a noun to make a collocation that acts as a verb.
- Noun-verb compounds are formed from a noun that precedes a verb to make a new verb:
- Adjective-participle compounds: adjectives stand before present participles (gerunds) or past participles to make an adjective.
Here, we have a present participle (gerund).
As you can see, a present participle is used here.
Here, we have a past participle.
As you can see, a past participle is used here.
- Adjective-noun compounds are formed when an adjective stands before a noun to make an adjective:
- Noun-adjective compounds are formed when a noun is placed before an adjective/adverb to make a compound adjective:
- Verb-adverb compounds are formed when a verb comes before an adverb to make a noun.
- Adverb-noun compounds are formed when an adverb comes before a noun to make a compound noun.
- Adverb-verb compounds are formed from an adverb placed before a verb which makes a compound noun.
The Plural Form of Compound Words
- Compound nouns are usually pluralized by adding the inflection -s to the end of the word:
a skateboard: three skateboard
a game console: several game console
- In compound nouns that are made by a noun and an adverb, the first part (noun) becomes plural:
a hanger-on → several hanger
a listener-in → several listener
a passer-by → several passer
- Compound nouns that end in -'in-law' can be plural both on the first and the final part.
Rhyming compounds are a type of compound word that is formed by combining two words that rhyme. In a rhyming compound, the final syllables of the two words have the same sound. This formation process is mostly found in child talk (and talk addressed to children). For example:
Note that not all compounded words are rhyming compounds.
The pronunciation of a compound noun is different from an adjective with a noun. Stress is very important in this case. In compound nouns, the stress usually falls on the first syllable. For example:
What Is Blending?
Blending is a word formation process in which two or more words are combined to create a new word that merges the sounds and meanings of the original words.
We have two main types of blending, which have been listed below:
- Attributive blends: a blended word in which one word is the head and the other one is an attributive modifying the head.
- Coordinate blends: a blended word in which there are two heads and they add equal meanings to the final blended word.
Breakfast + lunch =
Transmitter + receiver =
How to Blend Words?
In the following, you will find ways to merge words to make a blended word:
- the first part of the first word + the final part of the second word:
As you can see, this is a non-overlapping blend that means
As you can see, this is an overlapping blend: 'o' in two words overlaps.
- the first part of the first word + the first part of the second word:
In this example, we have an overlapping blend.
- the ending part of the first word + the ending part of the second word:
- the first part of the first word + the whole second word:
- the first part of the first word + the whole or the ending part of the second word + the ending part of the first word (splinter):
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