What grammar entity is this: a "product number"? How can a noun become an adjective (if it does at all)?

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This is an open compound noun. "Product" is not an adjective but a noun adjunct to "number", specifying that this is not just a number but one that identifies a product. Some more common examples of this construction are "chicken soup", "train ticket", and "toy soldier".

  • Thanks a lot for the help! Can any noun be a noun adjunct? – ivanavdeyev Oct 29 '18 at 17:31
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    @ivanavdeyev Theoretically (see Wikipedia's exceedingly long headline example), but not every instance is in common usage. I'm not sure if there are particular rules attached beyond what would "sound weird" to a native speaker. – Alan T. Oct 29 '18 at 18:43
  • It seems the only way to master it to learn real usage examples (I hope this sequence works!) in the environment of native speakers. For example: the company president or the president of the company? Or both? – ivanavdeyev Oct 29 '18 at 21:06

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