Posts Tagged ‘group nouns’

Nouns in groups

August 13th, 2012 in English Grammar

Sometimes we use a noun to modify another noun. There are mainly three ways in which we can put two or more nouns together.

Noun + noun

This is the simplest method. Here we simply put two nouns together. Examples are given below.

A ticket office (= an office that sells tickets)

The car driver (= the person who drives the car)

A coffee shop (= a shop from where you can buy coffee)

A coal mine (= a mine from which coal is obtained)

A glass factory (= a factory that produces glass)

Noun + ’s + noun

Examples are given below:

Children’s books (= books intended for children)

Susie’s father (= father of Susie)

A bird’s nest (= a nest built by a bird)

Cow’s milk (= milk produced by a cow)

Noun + preposition + noun

A book on philosophy

A feeling of emptiness

Choice of structures

Hardly any rules exist regarding the choice of structures. It is actually a complicated area of grammar. Remember that a particular idea is only expressed in one of these ways. In some cases two structures are possible. It is necessary to consult a good dictionary to know which structure is used to express a particular idea.

Ram’s brother or Brother of Ram (NOT Ram brother)

Comic books (NOT Comic’s books)

An Indian writer OR A writer from India (NOT An India writer)

Cow’s milk (NOT cow milk) (NOT milk of a cow)