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What is a Compound Noun? Definition, Types & Examples

Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2024
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Compound nouns are used to identify a class of people, places, things or a particular name. It is an important topic for all students, especially for those who are preparing for competitive examinations. One or more questions from this topic are asked in every competitive examination.  This article will provide you with an introduction to compound nouns, types, and examples of compound nouns.

Compound-Nouns

What is a Compound Noun? 

A compound noun is a type of noun that is formed by combining two or more words to create a new noun. There are three types of compound nouns, including Open or spaced compound nouns, hyphenated compound nouns, and closed or solid compound nouns.

Definition of Compound Noun

“Compound Noun is a noun that is made with two or more words together.” 

We can also say – “Compound Nouns are made by joining more than one word together.” 

Also Read: Parts of Speech

Types of Compound Nouns With Examples

There are three main types of Compound Nouns

1. Closed or Solid Compound Nouns

2. Spaced or Open Compound Nouns

3. Hyphenated Compound Nouns

Closed or Solid Compound Nouns

Closed or Solid Compound Noun is made up by joining two words without any spaces or hyphens. 

Examples: Sunflower, Football, Bathroom, Rainfall etc.

Spaced or Open Compound Nouns

It is made up of joining two words with a space. 

Examples : Cricket bat, Fast food, Ice cream, Rain forest etc. 

Hyphenated Compound Noun 

Hyphenated Compound Noun is made up by joining two or more words by a hyphen. 

Examples : Mother-in-law, Self – esteem, Father-in-law etc. 

Compound Nouns Examples 

Washing machine, Greenhouse, Dining – table, Bus stop, Swimming pool, Sunrise, Sunset, Blackboard, Whiteboard, Mother – in – law, Output, Check – out, Check-in, Haircut, Hotspot, Smartphone, Hardware, Long lasting, Underline, Underground, Shutdown, Input, Overthrow. 

Forming Compound Nouns with all Parts of Speech  

Compound Nouns can be formed by combining different parts of speech such as noun, verb, preposition and adjective. Here we form compound Nouns with the help of all parts of speech. A compound noun can be a common noun, proper noun or an abstract noun.

Noun + Noun 

Noun Noun Compound Noun
Bus Stop Bus stop
Foot Ball Football 
Air Port Airport 
Basket  Ball Basketball 
Railway Station  Railway station 

Noun + Verb 

Noun Verb Compound Noun
Sun Rise Sunrise 
Sun Set Sunset
Foot Print Footprint 
Snow Fall Snowfall
Rain Fall Rainfall 

Noun + Preposition

Noun Preposition  Compound Noun
Mother in – law Mother – in – law
Son in – law Son – in – law
Brother  in – law Brother – in – law

Preposition + Verb 

Preposition  Verb Compound Noun 
In Put Input
Out Put Output
In Take Intake
Over Throw Overthrow

Verb + Preposition

Verb Preposition  Compound Noun 
Check In Check-in
Check  Out Check – out
Break Down Breakdown
Build Up Build up 
Shut Down Shutdown 

Preposition + Noun 

Preposition  Noun Compound Noun 
Under Line Underline 
Under Ground  Underground 
Off Shore Offshore 
Up Stairs Upstairs 
Over Night Overnight 

Adjective + Noun 

Adjective  Noun Compound Noun 
Black Board  Blackboard 
White Board  Whiteboard 
Hard Ware Hardware 
Hot Spot Hotspot 
Soft Ware Software 

Adjective + Verb 

Adjective  Verb Compound Noun 
Long Lasting  Long-lasting 
Ever Lasting  Everlasting 
High Light  Highlight
Long Awaited  Long awaited 

List of Compound Nouns

Washing machine, Greenhouse, Dining – table, Bus stop, Swimming pool, Sunrise, Sunset, Blackboard, Whiteboard, Mother – in – law, Output, Check – out , Check – in , Haircut , Hotspot, Smartphone , Hardware, Long lasting, Underline, Underground, Shutdown, Input, Overthrow. 

Rules for Compound Noun

1. When the compound noun is singular or a single word, make it plural by adding s to the end.

Examples : 

Underline – underlines 

Hotspot – hotspots

2. When the compound noun is hyphenated or separated, make it plural by adding s to the word that is plural. 

Example : 

Mother-in-law = Two mothers-in-law 

Difference Between Compound Nouns and Collective Noun

A collective noun is a single word which refers to a group or a team and that can be singular or plural. 

Examples : 

flock = A group of birds 

Troop = A group of army 

Team = A group of player 

A compound noun is made up of more than one word. 

Examples : 

Blackboard = black + board 

Ice cream = Ice + cream 

Overnight = over + night 

Compound Noun Vs Collective Noun

Compound Nouns Collective Nouns
Nouns formed by combining two or more words to create a new meaning. Nouns that refer to a group of individuals or things as a single entity.
Can be open (space between words), hyphenated, or closed (words joined). Usually a single word that encapsulates a group of individuals or things.
Open: post office, Hyphenated: mother-in-law, Closed: toothpaste Audience, class, flock, team
Denote a specific type of object, concept, or entity by combining elements. Represent a group or collection of people, animals, or things.
Can have singular or plural forms, with pluralization typically on the main noun. Treated as singular when referring to the group as a whole, but can also take a plural verb in some contexts (especially in British English) to emphasize individual members.
On the combined meaning created by the word parts. On the collective aspect of the group as a single unit.

Comound Noun Exercises

Read the sentences carefully and identify the compound nouns given below.

1. Write something on the blackboard.

2. My teacher had a heart attack.

3. They swim in the swimming pool. 

4. Rahul’s father-in-law went to America last month. 

5. My friend booked a dining – table for his colleagues in a restaurant. 

6. In 2022, Argentina won the FIFA football match. 

7. Do not drive without a driving licence.

8. Please underline the word. 

9. Due to inflation, many  Chinese companies shut down their company. 

10. She is my mother-in-law. 

Answer 

1. blackboard

2. heart attack

3. swimming pool

4. father – in – law

5. dining – table

6. football

7. driving licence.

8. underline

9. shutdown

10. mother-in-law. 

Also Check:

FAQs on Compound Noun

Q1. What is a Compound Nouns? 

A compound Noun is a noun that is made with two or more words together.

Compound Nouns are made by joining more than one word together. 

Q2. What are 10 examples of Compound Nouns? 

1. blackboard

2. heart attack

3. swimming pool

4. father – in – law

5. dining – table

6. football

7. driving licence.

8. underline

9. shutdown

10. mother-in-law.

Q3. What are 3 Compound Nouns? 

Blackboard, Hotspot, Input.
 

Q4. What are 10 examples of compound nouns?

Compound nouns are formed by combining two or more words to create a single noun that represents a specific concept or thing. Here are 10 examples of compound nouns:

1. Toothbrush: A brush for cleaning teeth.

2. Bookstore: A store where books are sold.

3. Raincoat: A coat designed to keep you dry in the rain.

4. Mailbox: A box for receiving mail.

5. Lighthouse: A tall structure with a light to guide ships.

6. Soccer ball: A ball used in the game of soccer.

7. Airplane: A powered flying vehicle.

8. Coffee cup: A cup for drinking coffee.

9. Firefighter: A person who fights fires.

10. Hairbrush: A brush for grooming hair.

Compound nouns are common in English and help to describe a wide range of objects, concepts, and activities. They can be written as one word, hyphenated, or as separate words, depending on the specific compound and language conventions.

Q5. What is compound noun easy?

A compound noun is a noun that is formed by combining two or more words to create a single noun that represents a specific concept or thing. These words can be written as one word, hyphenated, or as separate words, depending on the specific compound and language conventions. Compound nouns are used to describe a wide range of objects, concepts, and activities. For example, “toothbrush” is a compound noun formed by combining “tooth” and “brush” to describe the tool used for cleaning teeth.

Q6. What is a compound noun in ielts?

In IELTS, a “compound noun” is when two or more words combine to form a single noun. Understanding and using compound nouns correctly is essential for both written and spoken English proficiency, as they often appear in various IELTS exam sections. Examples include “healthcare system,” “technology advancements,” and “income inequality.”



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