Compound nouns

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Compound nouns

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Do you like ice cream ? Have you ever had problems with your computer keyboard ? Words like ice cream and keyboard are compound nouns . These are nouns that are made up of... well, listen to this weeks 6 Minute Vocabulary to find out. Finn and Alice are here to give you a helping hand!

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زبانشناس»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زبانشناس»

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Alice
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary with me Alice…

Finn
And me, Finn. Today we’re looking at compound nouns.

Alice
What are you eating, Finn??

Finn
Popcorn. I’ve also got some ice cream - do you want some Alice?

Alice
Well, maybe after the show.

Finn
Sorry. In today’s show, we’re looking at compound nouns.

Alice
We’ll look at what they are, what they mean and how to use them.

Finn
There’ll be a quiz…

Alice
And we’ll leave you with a tasty top tip for learning vocabulary.

Finn
So, first up: we’re going to listen to Bill and his daughter-in-law talking about Bill’s computer.

Alice
And here’s a question to think about while you listen: what’s wrong with Bill’s laptop?

Finn
What’s wrong with Bill’s laptop? Let’s find out.

INSERT Bill
I’m having problems with this new software.

Susan
Where’s Mike? He’s good with computers.

Bill
He’s buying postcards at the post office, I think.

Susan
Let’s have a look then. I think I can fix this.

Bill Susan, you’re my favourite daughter-in-law! But should I buy a new laptop?

Susan I think you’ll have to Bill. This keyboard doesn’t work at all.

Alice
So, that’s Bill and his daughter-in-law. And we asked you: what’s wrong with Bill’s laptop?

Finn
And the answer is: the keyboard doesn’t work.

Alice
Now, keyboard is a key word in today’s show because it’s an example of a compound noun.

Finn
That’s right. In English vocabulary, we often put two or more nouns together to form a new noun, with a meaning that combines the meanings of the two original nouns. We call these words compound nouns.

Alice
For example, keyboard . The second part - board - names the thing we are talking about.

Finn
The first part tells us what type of thing it is - it’s a board with keys.

Alice
Now, we usually write keyboard as one word. Same with laptop, software and postcard . But we write others as two words.

Finn
For example, post office - it’s an office where we post things and we write it as two words.

Alice
Unfortunately there aren’t really any rules about when to write compound nouns as one word and when to write them as two words - so be sure to use a good dictionary!

IDENT
You’re listening to bbclearningenglish.com.

Alice
And we’re talking about compound nouns. And if you were listening carefully earlier on you might have noticed a few compound nouns right at the start. Popcorn was one of them. We also heard ice cream - another compound noun!

Finn
And you may also have noticed how these words are pronounced. With compound nouns, the stress usually goes on the first part, like this - popcorn, ice cream, keyboard. What’s our final example, Alice?

Alice
Daughter-in-law. This compound noun is made of a noun and a prepositional phrase.

Finn
Now, when we write three-word compounds, we usually use hyphens - little dashes - between the words. This shows the three words go together.

Alice
And the plural is daughters-in-law , not daughter-in-laws . We are talking about two daughters - so we add the plural ‘s’ to this word.

Finn
Do you have any daughters-in-law, Alice?

Alice No I don’t Finn. I’m far too young to have any daughters-in-law. But I do have a sister-in-law, and she’s a lovely woman. Let’s hear about compound nouns again.

Finn
They’re fixed expressions formed from two or three words linked together in different ways. There are compounds we write as one word, like keyboard, software, and popcorn.

Alice
But we write some of them as two separate words, like post office and ice cream .

Finn
Now it’s time for a quiz. I’m going to say a compound noun and I’m also going to say whether we write it as one word, two words or with hyphens, and you decide if this is true or false. Ready? Number 1. Popcorn . Two words.

Alice
False. It’s one word.

Finn
Number 2. Ice cream. One word.

Alice
False! It’s two words.

Finn
And number 3. Daughters-in-law. With hyphens.

Alice
True!

Finn
That’s right, it has hyphens. Well done if you got those right.

Alice
And that brings us almost to the end of the programme.

Finn
But just before we finish, here’s today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: practise the pronunciation of compound nouns. The stress is on the first word. Try saying ‘hot dog’ with an equal stress on both words: this means a dog that is hot. Then say it again with the stress on the first word: hot dog is a type of sausage snack.

Alice
Great, thank you Finn. That’s wonderful. There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both Goodbye!

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