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  1. #1
    mafto is offline Junior Member
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    Two nouns, one of them describes the other

    Please, help me with this thing:

    Letīs think about this sentence: John is a worker and he lives in the village.

    Can I just say "Worker John lives in the village?" I think Iīve never encountered anything like this. Generally, putting two nouns together with the meaning like in the example sentence seems quite rare in English.

    I know that doctor John, captain John are common, but in these cases the first nouns are titles.

    Apart from this, I know that Bartleby, the Scrivener is OK, but such use (John the Worker lives in the village) seems too high-styled.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Two nouns, one of them describes the other

    Quote Originally Posted by mafto View Post
    Please, help me with this thing:

    Letīs think about this sentence: John is a worker and he lives in the village.

    Can I just say "Worker John lives in the village?" I think Iīve never encountered anything like this. Generally, putting two nouns together with the meaning like in the example sentence seems quite rare in English.

    I know that doctor John, captain John are common, but in these cases the first nouns are titles.

    Apart from this, I know that Bartleby, the Scrivener is OK, but such use (John the Worker lives in the village) seems too high-styled.

    Thank you in advance.
    "Doctor" and "Captain" are official titles. "Worker" is not. It simply means "someone who works". If you said "John is a worker" in BrE, it would mean nothing really. It only means he is an employee but nothing else about his job.

    Where on earth did you see "Bartleby, the Scrivener" used in 21st century English?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    mafto is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Two nouns, one of them describes the other

    Yes, I know that "John is a worker" means that he is an employee. I also know that doctor and captain are titles. I also wrote that I was aware of Bartleby, the scrivener not being used in normal speech.

    I was asking about something else..

  4. #4
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    Re: Two nouns, one of them describes the other

    Quote Originally Posted by mafto View Post
    I was asking about something else.
    It seems to me that ems addressed that.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Two nouns, one of them describes the other

    You would be able to say "The worker called John lives in the village". It would be more likely to contain something to say what kind of worker he is. "Farm worker John lives in the village" or "John, a farm worker, lives in the village". Wording it "Worker John lives in the village" sounds very unnatural.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    mafto is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Two nouns, one of them describes the other

    Thank you :)

    I see that I caused confusion by stating the first example sentence I could think of :)

    I wasn't interested in that particular sentence, it was just an example (and unfortunately not a good one).

    Thank you for your help - now that I have readFarm worker John lives in the village and John, a farm worker, lives in the village I think I understand.

    I was mostly interested in the articles. So if I get it right, when the first noun occurs before the name, no article is used. When the name comes first and then we add the other noun, it follows an indefinite article (unless the second noun is one that requires the.) Is that so?

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