Compound Nouns for intermediate learners

Compound nouns are formed when two or more words are joined together to create a new word that has an entirely new meaning.

What are "Compound Nouns" in English Grammar?

What Are Compound Nouns?

When two or more words are put together and used as a noun in a sentence a 'compound noun' is formed.

Using Compound Nouns

'Compound nouns' are used to make new words with new meanings:

Let's watch football.

Foot (noun) + ball (noun) = football (compound noun)

She is his girlfriend.

Girl (noun) + friend (noun) = girlfriend (compound noun)

How to Make Compound Nouns

There are different ways to make compound nouns. Here are the most common structures:

Right: a compound noun; Left: a noun phrase

You can see a few examples below:

Air + port → airport

Noun + noun → compound noun

High + school → high school

Adjective + noun → compound nouns

Rain + fall → rainfall

Noun + verb → compound noun


Regardless of whether a verb, an adjective, or a noun is added to the noun, a compound noun is always considered a noun, rather than a verb or an adjective.

Countable or Uncountable

Compound nouns can be categorized into two groups based on whether they can be counted or not:

  • Countable compound nouns
  • Uncountable compound nouns

I found two car parks.

Here the compound noun 'car park' is countable.

I hate fast food.

Here the compound noun 'fast food' is uncountable.


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Singular and Plural Nouns

Anything that is just one in quantity is singular. But what if there is more than one? Nouns that are two or more are called plurals! Simple, yes? Let's see!

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

It's important to know if a noun is countable or uncountable. This is going to help us to use the correct article. Let's learn more.

Collective Nouns

If we want to represent certain individual nouns as one entity we can make use of collective nouns. In this lesson, you'll learn about their structure and uses.

Possessive Nouns

Possessive structures have many functions like showing ownership or belonging. With the help of apostrophe 's', we can make a possessive noun. Let's start!

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