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45

You'd most often use a noun for the person (eg runner, jogger) and then an adjective to describe them (keen, avid). So you might call them an avid runner or a keen jogger.


30

"Omaha Steaks" is the brand of the meat. Although it sounds clumsy it is correct.


20

It is a "fish and chip" shop, but you order "fish and chips". Or just a chip shop since they always sell fish too. In general, a shop selling a product refers to its product as a collective noun in the singular. Chip shop — sells chips. Cake shop — sells cakes. Curtain shop — sells curtains.


18

The brief answer by KCCole is correct: "Omaha Steaks" is a brand of meat. See "Omaha Steaks Burgers” sold by Omaha Steaks mail order company. As suggested in the comments that follow, "Omaha Steaks" is being used as an adjective, modifying "Burgers." Calling them Omaha Steak Burgers would imply that the meat was ground from a steak, which would be ...


16

Why can't you say China citizen? Because you can already say "Chinese citizen". The phenomenon is called "blocking" in linguistics. You don't say something because there's already something else that you do say. For example, you you don't say "gloriosity" ( < glorious) because you can already say glory, even though by analogy with viscous>viscosity, you ...


15

yes, the cone is an ice cream cone because it is a cone that can hold ice cream. And it is a Soup Bowl with candy in it. You are describing the bowl to differentiate it from other bowls.


14

There is no such thing as an electrical bill. There's no difference in meaning between the other two, but Americans prefer electric bill... ...whereas Brits prefer electricity bill...


14

"Chance" here is used in its sense of "opportunity." "Consequence-free" is a compound adjective meaning "without any harmful result." Thus, a "consequence-free chance" means an "opportunity [to act] without any result that may harm [the actor]."


13

It's not free chance you want to look at, but consequence-free as a modifier of chance. This means a chance that is free of consequence. Let's look at other uses of -free, including a couple of curious ones, for a broader understanding... The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines -free as meaning Clear of something which is regarded as ...


12

I think Mike C. has a great answer, but if you'd prefer a noun version over an adjective, I would call the person a running enthusiast A person filled with or guided by enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, of course, being: Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness. So a running enthusiast is one who is excited about running or eager to run.


11

Skill is a noun, not an adjective. However in that phrase it is used as a noun adjunct, so it serves as an adjective. Aside from that, I agree entirely. "Well, that matches my skill set" and "The two jobs need completely different skill sets" being valid singular and plural uses, respectively.


10

Because all three are compound nouns, which have nothing to do with the Saxon genitive. "Car service" is a type of service. "Car's service" would be service owned by a car. Much like railway is a type of way, not a way belonging to a rail. Compounds don't have to be written as one word, though. That is all.


10

The possessive would actually not be correct here. "Omaha Steaks" is the name of a brand. As such, it is being used as an adjective in this construction and not a noun. For instance, if you had a refrigerator made by General Electric, you would claim to own a General Electric refrigerator and not General Electric's refrigerator. In the same way, these ...


9

Both "hacker trick" and "hacker code" are acceptable. Technically, the word doesn't become an adjective. English nouns can act as modifiers (called attributive nouns or noun adjuncts). For more information, check out this tutorial.


9

Two different facts are needed to thoroughly answer this question. First, Hazel is both an adjective and a noun. Online dictionaries can be hit-and-miss in quality. Even high-quality dictionaries make mistakes, or will be abridged, and different lexicographers have to pick and choose what to leave out. When researching a topic like this, you owe it to ...


8

It's materials science because material is also an adjective. The phrase material science, as opposed to, say, spiritual science, was used before people started studying the science of materials. Consider this Ngram: If you search in Google Books for "material science" before 1910, you get hits like What does material science know about things of the ...


8

These are nice and subtle questions. Beginning with (3), there is a semantic difference between shop door and shop’s door. If I tell you I’ll wait by the shop door, then I generally mean at the front of the store (or maybe by the door for deliveries), but not, for instance, at a door that separates the shop from the living quarters. The same goes for shop ...


8

I've always taken the omission here to be or the phrase "worth of". As such, what one means when one says "two weeks' holiday" is actually "two weeks' worth of holiday" and likewise with, for example, notice and imprisonment. The worth in this case belongs to the time, just as the worth belongs to the money when one says "three quid's worth of [insert ...


7

In constructions like this you generally use the singular, although there are exceptions. Some of these exceptions may be attempts to avoid ambiguity (for example, a sundry store might be a store that is sundry, rather than a store that sells sundries; a sundries store is unambiguous). Other exceptions seem not to have a reason. This is a perfect question ...


7

There is a cross-linguistic principle that words incorporated into compounds tend to lose any inflections (I remember an article in Language in the 80's - probably, from the index, one of the articles in Vol 62 No 1, but I haven't a copy to hand). So in English, the norm is that nouns incorporated into compounds do not take a plural ending. Where they do, ...


7

Well, we do say hate crimes and oil spill and Mafia gangster. Those are three parallel combinations to ones you say don't work. Merriam-Webster Online has this to say: While any noun may occasionally be used attributively, the label ... attributive is limited to those having broad attributive use. This label is not used when an adjective homograph (as ...


7

When a noun is used this way it is called an attributive noun or noun adjunct. One big difference between attributive nouns and adjectives is that while an adjective is predicative, i.e., a big dog is big and is a dog, a points victory is not points, but rather it is a victory when using points as the determining factor.


7

In ‘Yemen’s PM’, ‘Yemen’s’ is a possessive determiner. In ‘Yemen PM’, ‘Yemen’ is a noun modifying ‘PM’, in the same way that in a noun phrase such as ‘bank account’, ‘bank’ is a noun modifying ‘account’. Both are grammatical, but the second form is perhaps found especially in newspaper headlines.


7

Poser - you can use both meanings. #1 - a person who acts in an affected manner in order to impress others. #2 - a person posing for a picture


7

Your source of confusion is apparently in assuming that every time you put two nouns together, one of them must be a possessive, so you're fretting about where to put an apostrophe when there's simply no need for one in the first place. Just as in "truck driver", "game designer", "world war" etc, what you have is simply a compound consisting of two nouns. ...


7

Your examples use nouns that are used to modify other nouns (attributive nouns). Possessive (also called Saxon Genitive) constructions, on the other hand, show possession [in the extended (my bike's front wheel) rather than just the proprietorial (John's bike) sense]. "a hotel's room" - a room belonging to a hotel "a hotel room" - a specific type of room, ...


7

It is common to use nouns as modifiers of other nouns. The term ice cream serves that adjectival purpose, modifying cone. The waffle cones and sugar cones that are traditionally used (at least in the US) to hold ice cream were designed for that purpose. While the cones could be, and are, used to hold other things (and may even be eaten plain, if one is so ...


7

Matters of Love and War Both your first two versions seem fine, but the third one does not. As you observe, confession of love is the normal collocation, not *love confession, but it is hard to pin down precisely why that should be so. It is not so much a matter of grammar but rather one of customary couplings of one word to another. For some ...


6

As I've mentioned in a comment to another post, it's probably fairer to say that "adjective" ~ "noun" form ends of a spectrum rather than mutually exclusive categories. However, on balance, reasons for saying that "points" is more "noun like" in this case would include: the fact that "points" is marked as plural, whereas e.g. the plural is not possible in "...


6

This really has nothing to do with leaving out apostrophes. In “India VP” and “Japan Minister”, it’s not an apostrophe that’s left out—it’s more that the noun is not a possessive at all. The name of the country is just being used as a noun adjunct instead of as a genitive. This is an extremely common construction in English, but the particular case that ...


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