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Compound Nouns

Compound nouns are formed by combining words. These are quite common, and new combinations are created on a regular basis. They are usually divided into two halves. The first part describes the type of thing or person it is, as well as its function. The second half identifies the thing or person in question. Compound nouns usually have a distinct or more particular meaning than the two-component words. For example, a dining table is a type of table. 

Examples of compound nouns

Compound nouns can be formed in several different ways. 

Open or spaced

Compound nouns which are two separate words are referred to as ‘open’ or ‘spaced. 


  • Dining table
  • Bus stop
  • Swimming pool


Compound nouns which have a hyphen between the components are referred to as ‘hyphenated’. 


  • Writer-editor
  • Son-in-law
  • Merry-go-round

Closed or solid 

Compound nouns without a space or hyphen are referred to as ‘closed’. 


  • Bedroom
  • Grandmother
  • Inside


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