Compound Noun

  • A compound noun is a fixed expression which is made up of more than one word, but acts as one noun i.e. combination of two nouns. E.g. human being, science fiction, assembly line, alarm clock ,etc.
  • Compound nouns can be written as two words or two words with a hyphen between them. E.g. letter-box, baby-sitter

Compound nouns can be singular or plural, countable or non-countable.

Example: handcuffs, credit card, windscreen, assembly line, burglar alarm, tea-bag  etc.

  • Compound nouns can also be a phrasal verb which is a combination of a verb+preposition.  Example: breakthrough (to reach prime), outlook (prospect), by-pass (parking side of the road) etc.
  • Nouns based on phrasal verbs are usually informal and are used in newspaper writing to describe general circumstances. Examples are:

There was a walkout on the factory. (Strike)

I never expected a break-up of their friendship. (End/ collapse)

Cutbacks are necessary in a company during recessions. (Reductions)

The outcome of the war was nothing but destruction.

Some other examples include – output (product), outlook (prospect), outbreak

(start of something bad, disease, war), print out , takeover (to gain control of something).

** Download the worksheet given below and give it to your student/children to practise.