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Is "tennis" an adjective in "tennis coach"? My english teacher thinks so, but using my native language as a reference it doesn't seem right to me...

marked as duplicate by sumelic, FumbleFingers, JEL, ab2, jimm101 Feb 28 '16 at 0:38

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  • No, it's a noun. It's function is complement to the noun "coach". – BillJ Feb 27 '16 at 16:53
  • When your English teacher says so, just believe what he says is right. Your question seems to be too basic for this community. For future questions, I'd like to advise you to visit our sister site English Language Learners. – user140086 Feb 27 '16 at 16:54
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    @BillJ ~ in what way is 'tennis' a complement? It is not an argument of anything, and "he is my coach" is as complete as "he is my tennis coach" which makes "tennis" an adjunct: "In grammar, a noun adjunct or attributive noun or noun (pre)modifier is an optional noun that modifies another noun" (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_adjunct#/search) – Roaring Fish Feb 27 '16 at 17:38
  • This topic has been transferred to a new question. – BillJ Feb 27 '16 at 18:23
  • This is a religious issue. Some folks are of the religion that "tennis", in the above context, becomes an adjective, while others assign one of several other categories to it. But all this is just playing with words, which is, not too oddly, something that many in the linguistics community love to do. In this case, as in many, the answer you get will depend on which book your "authority" read last, in his attempt to apply mathematical rigor to something which is inherently "squishy". – Hot Licks Feb 27 '16 at 19:31

It is a noun adjunct:

  • a noun that modifies another noun and that is optional (that is, it can be removed without affecting the grammar of the sentence). For example, in the compound noun "chicken soup", the noun adjunct "chicken" modifies the noun "soup".


  • I agree that it's a noun, but it's not a modifier; it's a complement. – BillJ Feb 27 '16 at 16:57
  • Downvote for answering this. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 27 '16 at 16:58
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    +1 for being correct. It is indeed a noun adjunct, AKA an attributive noun. – Roaring Fish Feb 27 '16 at 17:28
  • That's funny, because it doesn't obey the coordination rules for adjuncts. A coach on tennis and vaccation? – Phil Sweet Feb 27 '16 at 23:56

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