Questions tagged [compounds]

Questions about words that are created by combining two or more other words together.

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How to say "the health of a system" in a shorter way?

Compound words keep troubling me... I am writing an academic article about detecting the health of a system or a piece of equipment. For example, if a coffee machine works correctly, it means it has a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
75 views

Use of pos­ses­sive apos­tro­phe with the sec­ond word of a com­pound proper noun like “Aus­tralian States”

I have a rel­a­tively sim­ple ques­tion, but I am just a lit­tle con­fused and po­ten­tially mis­in­formed. My un­der­stand­ing is that when plu­ral­is­ing a pos­ses­sive noun, you add an apos­tro­phe ...
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Do I have a dependent clause or independent? [closed]

Sam got dressed, and it was time for school. Or Sam got dressed because it was time for school. Both the sentences sound correct to me. It seems the clause "it was time for school" can be ...
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Adding the 'n' to indefinite articles on compound nouns [duplicate]

The rules when to add the n to the indefinite article a is explained here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/grammar/using_articles.html They show rules about adjectives: If the noun is ...
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How to hyphenate this phrase [duplicate]

I know that compound adjectives like "goal-oriented" get hyphenated before a noun, but how would you deal with two sets of compound words that both end in "oriented"? It would be ...
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Is this word an example of agglutination or compounding? [closed]

One of the longest words* in the English dictionary is supercalifraglisticexpialidocious and introduced in the OED in 1931. However, is this word an example of compounding or agglutination. People say ...
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-ed suffix in compounds [closed]

I read somewhere in a book on morphology that -ed suffix in compounds conveys the notion of having something, therefore "a one-armed man" means " a man having one arm", so i was ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Suffixes that are words: why aren't they considered compounds?

There are some common suffixes, -less, -able, -full, and -wise, that are also full words on their own. Why isn't adding these words on considered compound words instead of suffixes? Or to say it ...
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Are multiple hyphenations allowed in extending compound words like "well-controlled"? [duplicate]

It is common to write the phrase "well controlled" as a single, hyphenated adjective, "well-controlled". If my intention is to place additional adverbs in front of the hyphenated ...
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Should I use hyphenation on compounds consisting of three nouns?

In our software, we extract/detect information from/on images, e.g., face features and hand gestures. When referring to these processes, should it be...? "face feature extraction" and "...
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Does the omission of the first part of a hyphenated compound run afoul of Chicago?

The top answer to the question Suspended hyphen in "ever-expanding and contracting gulf"? states that "ever-expanding and -contracting" runs afoul of Chicago. (I would have asked ...
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When two words produce a distinct meaning

I've thought about how we say "bad guy", when we refer to a character in a game or a story, with a different cadence than we say "bad guy", when we mean "a guy who is bad"...
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Hyphens for compound range in "He will be at the job for one to two years"?

Came across something written like "He will be at the job for two to three years." A colleague suggested it should be "two-to-three years." I disagreed. I see the rationale for a ...
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A word for being willing to accept the decisions and/or actions of machines

Is there a word that describes the attitude of a human willingly accepting the decisions and/or actions of machines (automation, robots, control systems, etc). e.g. I have just bought a new car with ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Identifying Compound words in Modern English

Compound words like SNOWMAN etc, are obvious compound words in Modern English, as both words that make up the compound word exist as words in Modern English. However, words like SHEPHERD aren't words ...
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Which is the correct way to write "Back-end Engineer"? [closed]

On the web, I find the following common ways of punctuating and capitalising "Back-end Engineer" as a job title. Back-End Engineer Back-end Engineer Backend Engineer Which of these is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can a compound modifier include a verb or be a sentence?

Recently, my significant other and I were sharing our reactions to an image of someone who looked much older than they actually were on social media. We were texting each other. I captioned the ...
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what is the meaning of 'to wear one's breeches out' and 'rat-gutted'?

I am quoting from the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: "Now, you don't think it likely that a man who could do anything is going to wear his breeches out ...
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1 answer
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Correct usage with compound nouns [closed]

He met an accomplished Hogwarts Witch Hermione Granger. (incorrect) 1'. He met an accomplished Hogwarts Witch, Hermione Granger.(correct)(accepting capitalisation) He met a Witch Hermione Granger. (...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are reflexive pronouns typically used in compound objects?

We can all agree that the reflexive pronoun in this sentence is necessary:I bought drinks for myself. However, I cannot seem to find a definitive answer regarding the following sentence:I bought ...
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Correct hyphenation of age groups (18-25-year-olds / 18- to 25-year-olds / 18 to 25-year-olds)

As the title suggests, I'd like to ask your opinion on the correct way (or most common/recommended way) to write about different age groups. Let's imagine you have a table showing several age groups ...
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1 answer
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How do you diagram a sentence that has a nominal phrase that is described by an adjective using the Reed-Kellogg system?

I have the following sentence: I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. My understanding is that "holiday weekend" is a compound noun nominal phrase, since it would be incorrect to say &...
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“Half an hour” and “half hour” adverbs

If the rate per hour is the hourly rate, what do you call the rate for half an hour? What is the rate for 2 hours known as?
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Why is barefeet not a word?

The question might seem absurd, but I am curious as to why 'barefeet' is not a valid English word. Why is it 'barefoot' and not 'barefeet'?
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Single opening with multiple doors: "trapdoor" or "trapdoors"

Is it "a trapdoor" or "trapdoors" for one opening with two or more doors covering it? One example is the one(s) covering Black Horse Inn's cellar. Clearly it is plural when there ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it "multi-element" or "multi-elemental"? "Multi-attribute" or "multi-attributed"?

I've seen both being used, so I'm having a hard time telling which one is correct. Logic dictates that it's supposed to be "multi-elemental" and "multi-attributed," considering we ...
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1 answer
175 views

Neither-nor, usage of neither-nor with verb [closed]

Which one is correct? 1. Neither anything changed nor we were informed. 2. Neither changed anything nor were we informed.
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Pride and joy as a plural

I just came across some text in a book which stated, “it was one of his prides and joys“. That sounds wrong to me. It seems as if it should be pride and joys, since that phrase is considered a ...
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Is there a semantic difference between 'supply-demand gap' and 'demand-supply gap'?

I have confirmed that both 'supply-demand gap' and 'demand-supply gap' have been used, although the latter is by far more common. I wonder if X-Y gap suggests that X was higher than Y, or vice-versa? ...
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1 answer
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Gerunds/present participles of two-verb compounds

I use making-believe instead of make-believing if I need to make a gerund/present participle out of "make-believe", but I just saw this line: Brenda rode along, make-believing she was a knight ...
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Question about noun compound

I need to convert some noun compounds into regular sentences, and I am having trouble with four of them: 1) greatly reduced atmospheric ozone depletion. 2) an airport air traffic controller. 3) air ...
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It was meme city

I know it's silly but, Elon Musk once said it during his meme review: "It was meme city". So we've got an argument with my friend about the 'meme city' part. I say it's a compound adjective used as ...
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word, noun, and compound noun

A noun is defined in Oxford as: A word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun). A ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How is 'compound noun' defined in CGEL?

This question is specifically about The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum. Here's CGEL's definition of word: In order to avoid possible misunderstanding we will ...
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2 answers
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How do we write the names of the cities? [duplicate]

We write New York as separate, not Newyork. But we write Newtown as compound noun and not separate. This is a problem in tests like IELTS. How do we know when to write the names separately?
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4 votes
1 answer
596 views

Of sweet tooths and black sheep: when does the plural of a compound turn regular?

According to many dictionaries, the plural of sweet tooth is sweet tooths, and not *sweet teeth (see e.g. here and here; the OED doesn't address the issue explicitly, but one of the examples it ...
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1 vote
1 answer
516 views

Use of the prefix "non-" on compound words [duplicate]

What is the correct way to apply the prefix "non-" to negate a (maybe dashed) compound adjective? Suppose that we want to negate a generic compound adjective "adjective1 adjective2". In this case: "...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is 'a 210-million-people market' correctly written? [duplicate]

Usually I find compound adjectives quite straightforward, but I'm not so sure when it comes to the following: A 210-million-people market So how should I refer to a market 210 million people large ...
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0 votes
2 answers
237 views

Isn’t "higher-priced products" with an adjective ungrammatical for the correct "more highly priced products" with an adverb?

The phrase higher-priced products is very common, but isn’t it grammatically incorrect? The adjective higher is being forced to servce as an adverb here, so the phrase should instead be more highly ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is the "The Pirate King" another structure of "The King of Pirates", interchangeably or "Pirate" is like an adj., meaning "The King that is a pirate"?

I have ambiguity with the meaning of some compound nouns, especially in the form noun+noun like: "The Pirate King", "The Lion King", "The Pirate Bay" and so on. EDITED: ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Do the words "en dash" and "em dash" require a hyphen? [duplicate]

I have seen the compound words "en dash" and "em dash" sometimes appear with a hyphen ("en-dash") and sometimes without. Are both the hyphenated and the unhyphenated forms correct?
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0 votes
0 answers
31 views

Compound nouns vs possessive (of) [duplicate]

Which should I choose: The factory roof or the roof of the factory? Are there some grammar/rules about the difference? What case should I use the first sentence in? What case should I use the second ...
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1 answer
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Various mails in chain [closed]

Which is more correct to say See mail trail See trail mail I want to know the right sentence to use when writing mail. Some people use mail trail while some use trail mail. It puts me ...
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0 votes
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"drinks cans" compound noun [duplicate]

I've met a "drinks cans" compound noun on this webpage. See how food and drinks cans get recycled As I know, there is a specific rule for the plural compound nouns that are made of two nouns. In ...
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2 votes
2 answers
179 views

Term for creating a fantasy word from all letters of two existing words?

If I have two words - let's say "lamp" and "vampire" and I put all of their letters together to form a new fantasy word. e.g. "vapamlimper" does this process have a name? I already considered terms ...
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1 vote
2 answers
355 views

‘Dog issue’: a compound or a noun phrase?

I’m so confused of the following expression: ‘the hot dog issue’. The dialogue is following: A: Have you heard of the hot dog issue? B: Yes, I have. These days, the dog’s euthanasia problem is very ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Why is it incorrect to say/write "I want to know today weather" instead of "I want to know today's weather"? [closed]

"'s" indicates possesive case. Although it's absurd to say that "today" owns "weather", possesive case can indicate other relationships too. For example, in "Picasso's paintings" it means "by Picasso" ...
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2 votes
1 answer
35 views

"Uploaduser" or "upload user"

I'm working on a product where you can enable an upload user (or uploaduser?) which is a special user that has upload privileges. I'm not a native english speaker and I cannot figure out whether it ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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"A servile propaganda operation": is the "propaganda operation" collocation leveraged proper in this context?

[...] has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation.1 I was looking at some ngram for collocations with propaganda and there are many more results with campaign and machine for instance ...
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1 vote
1 answer
59 views

Hyphenated abbreviation of component-sharing compound

In German it is unconspicuous to write 'An- oder Abwesenheit', but writing 'pre- or absence' in English would be conspicuous and perhaps either jocular or affectatious. I cannot think of an example ...
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