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NOUNS AS MODIFIERS

By: Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

http://www.kau.edu.sa/SBANJER http://wwwdrshadiabanjar.blogspot.com

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Nouns as Modifiers Noun can be used to another noun: NOUN - NOUN

•This car is for sports driving. •The Jeep has a drive(train) that moves all four wheels.

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

ADJECTIVE - NOUN

•It is a sports car. •It has four-wheel drive. (a feature of the car)

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In English we can put two nouns together. The first noun is used as an adjective to modify the second noun and is called a noun adjunct. The first noun is almost always singular because it follows the rule for adjectives, which do not have plural forms in English. N1 N2 can mean that: 1. N1 is a kind of N2 (a grammar book is a kind of book) 2. N1 is an object of an implied verb (an apple tree is a tree that produces apples)

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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It is important to understand that N2 is the thing and N1 is the kind or type: • • •

a rose bush is a bush a wrist watch is a watch computer paper is paper

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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When a noun is used as a modifier, it is in its singular form. The soup has vegetables in it: It is vegetable soup. The building has offices in it: It is an office building.

office modifies building. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

vegetable modifies soup. 5


Examples: My mother planted a rose bush in the garden. I bought a new table lamp. Bobby takes the school bus to school. The school ordered fifty new grammar books. That man makes bird cages. Mrs. Taylor bought some new baby clothes.

N1 is singular, even if the phrase is plural.

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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When a noun used as a modifier is combined with a number expression, the noun is singular and a hyphen (-) is used. CORRECT

√√√√√√√

She has a five-year-old son.

XXXXXXXX

INCORRECT

She has a five years old son.. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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We can use a number with N1 to make a compound adjective. Since the number and noun make one unit, we use a hyphen to join them. Note that N1 remains singular because it is being used as an adjective. Examples:

a three-car garage a ten-speed bicycle a twenty-dollar bill

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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If we use a number to refer to the second noun (how many), we do not use a hyphen: Examples:

two grammar books five rose bushes

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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We can use a number to refer to the second noun (how many) and a number with the first noun (compound adjective). In that case, there is no hyphen after the first number, but the second number is still used with a hyphen because it forms a compound adjective. Examples: two ten-dollar bills four three-bedroom homes

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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Hyphens are used to avoid ambiguity for the reader. NO HYPHEN

HYPHEN

•Two footstools sold •Two-foot stools sold for a half-million dollars. for a half-million dollars.

two footstools

Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

vs.

two-foot stools

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CORRECT

It was a two-hour test.

XXXXXXXX

INCORRECT

It was a two hours test.

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Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

√√√√√√√


Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

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Microsoft PowerPoint - Copy of NOUNS AS