I know that Terror is a noun, but is there a name for a noun that's used to describe another noun like this?

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    It's a prepositional object in a post-modifying prepositional phrase. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 14 '14 at 21:56
  • 3
    Now there's a statement sure to strike terror in the hearts of English students. – Hot Licks Dec 14 '14 at 22:39
  • Thanks @EdwinAshworth. If you post your comment as an answer I'd be happy to accept it. – Greg Dec 15 '14 at 22:40
  • Thanks, but it's far from original. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 15 '14 at 23:20

I don't think 'Terror' describes the tomb. It tells you what the tomb contains. Similarly, in 'a bucket of water', water does not describe the bucket. Now, a 'water bucket' would be a bucket whose purpose is solely to hold water. Water now describes the type of bucket. Similarly 'a green bucket' - green describes the bucket. So your example would be 'a terror tomb' to describe the type of tomb it is. Here, 'water', 'green' and 'terror' are adjectives describing a noun. In your example, 'terror' is simply a noun - it is the name of a thing, albeit an abstract thing, that is contained within another thing.

  • Hi David, and welcome to ELU. As this site is not a forum but a Q&A site, "Answers" should not engage in further discussion. It's kind of hard to find the answer in the low wall of text you've written. We do have an edit option. Please take the site tour and visit the help center for guidance on how to use this site. – anongoodnurse Dec 19 '14 at 3:52

A noun that's used to describe another noun is called an adjective.

  • 1
    Um, no. Even if that were happening here, a noun used to describe another noun is still called a(n attributive) noun, not an adjective. While all adjectives modify nouns, not all things that modify nouns must necessarily adjectives be. In this case, the noun modifier is the entire prepositional phrase, not merely its object. – tchrist Dec 19 '14 at 4:48

protected by tchrist Dec 19 '14 at 4:49

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