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  1. #1
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    Compound Nouns !

    Hello.I have two questions:1.How can I get a list of compound nouns (n.+n.)(adj.+n.)(adj.+v.)(adj.+v.)(v.+n.)(adv.+v.) (v.+adv.)(gerund+n.)(n.+gerund)(n.+preposition+n.) ? 2.Is "Back" in the words "back ground","backchat","backcloth","backwash" a noun or an adjective?Or,can I find it anywhere?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Re: Compound Nouns !

    .
    1-- I couldn't locate a comprehensive list of compound nouns, but googling the phrase will give you many sites with different examples.

    2-- Interesting question. I would guess that it is a noun in background and backcloth, and an adverbial prefix in backchat and backwash-- since presumably the latter two are back formations from chat back and wash back respectively.
    .

  3. #3
    Nordic Bill is offline Member
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    Re: Compound Nouns !

    The best site for such compounds (and I use it religiously!!) is quite simply www.dictionary.com.

    I, too, have been baffled by the conflicting logic and usage of compounds, i.e. "logon" and "login" but "log off" when talking about computers. It drives me bonkers and I'd say it was high time someone devised some concrete rules for us to follow. In the meantime, I let dictionary.com settle the dispute whenever I'm in doubt.

    Google is not a dictionary! Remember, any Grade 8 pupil with Grade 5 writing skills can put together a website and your search engine is going to home in on it. Just because you found it on the Net does not ensure its reliability.

    Google is an invaluable tool for language learning (please don't misunderstand my tone in the paragraph above), but I find it most appropriate for checking sentence fragments (if I'm in doubt about whether the preposition I used was correct, etc.) to give me a rough idea of the most popular phrasing, yet I still have an educated native look it over for me whenever the opportunity arises.

    Here's hoping this will become an exact science someday (as opposed to some day)!

    Bill

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    Re: Compound Nouns !

    In addition, there are a few compounds listed here.

  5. #5
    Nordic Bill is offline Member
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    Re: Compound Nouns !

    Good to have a list, thanks Casiopea. They mention as well that there are no clear rules. I would assume then that you merely have to learn the various combinations off by heart.

    For example, policeman is mentioned in that list as a compound. Yet police station must be written as two separate words. Perhaps due to the fact that policestation would consist of too many syllables. (?)

    Oh well ...

  6. #6
    Nordic Bill is offline Member
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    Re: Compound Nouns !

    Oops - scratch the multi-syllable theory. Police car has as many syllables as policeman, yet still must be written as two words.

    What a world, what a world ...

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    Re: Compound Nouns !

    Well, hehe, that just proves there are rules. For example,

    NP => noun + modifier
    police station (a station for police)
    police car (a car for police)
    police badge (a badge for police)
    police dog (a dog for police)

    VP => noun + verbal
    policedog (a dog that polices)
    policeman (a Man who police. . .s)
    postman (a Man who fishes)
    fisherman (a Man who fishes)
    sandman (a Man who deals in sand (?))

    Note, Man is short for human.

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