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  1. Fullblooded's Avatar
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    #1

    NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    I’m very confused with nouns used as adjectives. Most of the times (and as a rule) they are singular on the model of “apple tree”:
    Adult moves/magazines,
    Card table, card catalog,
    Appointment book,
    Baggage room,
    Bus station...
    and I guess: Oscar night.
    BUT (BUT!!!) I read: ”fireworks celebrations” and, of course, sports reporter/magazine,
    Sales tax/slip/ rep.
    Anglophones solidarity (in Africa, Cameroun, or wherever).
    Want more? (at the airport ) “arrivals level”, military boys school, Veterans Day (but Mother’s Day) and, to top it all, Children’s Hospital.
    How am I supposed to sort it all?
    Is it, each time, a toss-up or a guess?
    One can argue, as I’ve been taught, that an apple tree/cart is a kind of tree/cart while the “anglophones solidarity” is not exactly a kind of solidarity (or an “arrivals level” a kind of level).
    But an Oscar night is hardly a “kind” of night. Or is it? It sounds very subtle to me.

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    #2

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    If a noun is normally used in the plural, then it may be used in the plural in a compound noun. Also, compounds with words relating to people are also often used in the plural. However, I understand your frustration- English often could be made easier for learners if it followed rules strictly. Unfortunately, it often goes its own way.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    I don't know where you came across "Anglophones solidarity." To me, it's unnatural. I would use "Anglophone solidarity" if any!

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    #4

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    Is it possible that the first (noun) word is a possessive? Table of cards.

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    #5

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Fullblooded:

    I think that someday when you become fluent in English, you will agree with many other people that the noun + noun pattern is one of the outstanding strengths of English.

    1. As you know, each year the American movie industry gives out awards for the best motion pictures. Winners receive a statuette informally called "Oscar." I am sure that you will agree that sentence "b" saves space and delivers the information with more "punch."

    a. "Many movie stars are excited about the night on which the winners of the Oscars will be announced."
    b." Many movie stars are excited about Oscar night."

    2. I think that sentence "d" is also snappier.

    c. "The baby was rushed to the nearest hospital for children."
    d. "The baby was rushed to the nearest children's hospital."

    To make things even more "interesting," many Americans have dropped the apostrophe: "The childrens hospital is on Maple Avenue."

    3. Whenever I read the "Travel" section of my newspaper, I am fascinated by the variety that I see in a sentence something like this:

    "If you have any questions about the museum, go to the third floor where you will find the

    visitors' center / visitors center / visitor's center / visitor center."

    Because I am elderly, I always thought that the only "correct" term was the first. But I now rather like the last one: it's short and to the point. Why clutter up things with unnecessary apostrophes?


    4. Finally, I'm looking at the front page of my newspaper. Look at what I have found.

    a new schools superintendent (a new superintendent of schools).
    industry watchers (watchers who keep an eye on the industry).
    UC Merced students (students who attend the University of California [branch] at [the city of] Merced).
    Last edited by TheParser; 09-Nov-2015 at 14:16.

  3. Fullblooded's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES


  4. Fullblooded's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    Strengths !? You mean "intricacies".

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    Quote Originally Posted by Fullblooded View Post
    Strictly speaking, it should be "Anglophone solidarity."

    However, now that I see it's the title of an article, it could be a deliberate contraction implying Anglophone countries.
    Last edited by teechar; 10-Nov-2015 at 11:23.

  6. Fullblooded's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    A contraction or a contraption?!!! I sincerely appreciate all the answers I read, but they look more like "rationalizing" to me (an effort to to find an explanation when there's really none). Is "Actors Studio" (not Actor or Actor's or Actors') a contraption... sorry a contraction?

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    #10

    Re: NOUNS USED AS ADJECTIVES

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Fullblooded:

    I can understand your frustration.

    Today (the 11th) in the United States is Veterans' Day / Veterans Day / Veteran's Day.

    To the best of my knowledge, it is, however, never simply "Veteran Day." (I imagine that it has to do with the sound.)

    I believe that we are not dealing with contractions but rather with the genitive (known to us ordinary speakers as the possessive).

    I am like you: I like clear, definite rules regarding grammar. But since language is an "invention" of human beings, perfection is out of the question.

    As you know, English (unlike French and Spanish) does not have an academy that issues decisions on what is "correct."

    So we have to depend on good dictionaries and reputable newspapers to guide us.

    I personally think that Actors Studio looks and sounds the best.

    I have never seen "Actor Studio." "Obviously," we are referring to a studio for actors.

    "Actor's Studio" might signify a studio for one actor.

    "Actors' Studio" is probably the closest to following the rule, but here in the States, "unnecessary" apostrophes are usually dropped.

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