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)