grammar training
Compound nouns

Elisa
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1. Что это?
Сложные существительные образуются постоянно по мере того, как движется мир вокруг нас, а с ним и технический прогресс, и многие когда-то были сначала сложными существительными, которые писались раздельно, затем через дефис, и наконец, уже слитно.

2. Какие есть способы образования?

Есть около 10 разных способов образования сложных существительных. Сегодня мы разберем самые распространенные.
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Compound nouns
  • Words can be combined to form compound nouns.
For example:
sun + burn = sunburn

  • They normally have two parts. The first part tells us what kind of object or person it is, or what its purpose is. The second part identifies the object or person.
For example:
disease + causing = disease-causing

  • Compound nouns usually have a meaning that is different, or more specific, than the two separate words.
For example:
heart (сердце) + attack (нападать) = heart attack (сердечный приступ)

You have noticed that the compound noun can be written either as a single word, as a word with a hyphen (-), or as two words:

1. noun + noun = closed compounds
sun + burn = sunburn
sun + stroke = sunstroke
head + ache = headache
ear + ache = earache
tooth + ache = toothache
stomach + ache = stomachache


2. noun + noun = open compounds
heart + disease = heart disease
heart + attack = heart attack
brain + concussion = brain concussion
emergency + medicine = emergency medicine
emergency + room = emergency room
food + poisoning = food poisoning
blood + pressure = blood pressure
disease + causing = disease-causing
first + aid = first-aid


3. noun (or another part of speech) + noun = hyphenated compounds
disease + causing = disease-causing
sixteen + year + old = sixteen-year-old
long + term = long-term
first + aid = first-aid


4. Plural of compound nouns
The plurals of compound nouns are generally formed by adding a hyphen (-) to the principal word:
sisters-in-law
ten-minute (no s)


Stress is important in pronunciation, as it distinguishes between a compound noun and an adjective with a noun. In compound nouns, the stress usually falls on the first syllable.
For example:
sunburn
disease-causing
heart attack

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