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Thread: compound noun

  1. #1
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default compound noun

    Why is "knife sharpener" considered a compound noun rather than the combination adjective+noun in this sentence:

    I want a knife sharpener.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: compound noun

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Why is "knife sharpener" considered a compound noun rather than the combination adjective+noun in this sentence:

    I want a knife sharpener.

    Thank you in advance.
    Well, 'knife' is a thing that cuts. It's a thing, a noun, and a 'sharpener' is a thing that sharpens things. It's also a thing, a noun, so

    knife sharpener (noun + noun)

    Q: What kind of sharpener?
    A: Its' a sharpener (noun) that sharpens knives (noun).
    A: *It's a knife one. (Not an adjective)

    blue sharpener (adjective + noun)

    Q: What kind of sharpener?
    A: It's a sharpener (noun) that is blue. (adjective)
    A: It's a blue one. (adjective)

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