Compound nouns are usually two or more words put together to create a new noun.examples sunflower, blackboard etc. Where as collocations are words or phrases which are commonly used together. examples heavy rainfall, deep sleep, to make bed etc.Could you update me a little more about the same?

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    It's quite a big topic. What research have you done?
    – BillJ
    May 31, 2020 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


The collocation is a sequence or juxtaposition of words or terms that usually co-occur / go together in a sentence. For example, you make the bed, but you do your homework.

Example :

1) collocations with make : make breakfast, make a mistake, make a decision, make love, make room, make a noise, etc.

2) collocations with do : do the shopping, do the dishes, do your homework, do your hair, do a course, do a favour, etc.

But compound nouns or nominal compounds are different things.

More than one simple word or primary word or base word or root word combine together to form a compound word.

For example,

(I) ready + made = readymade (compound adjective).

(ii) full + fill = fulfil (compound verb).

(iii) moon + light = moonlight (compound noun or nominal compound)

Compound nouns are also formed by simple words of different parts of speech :

He (pronoun) + goat (noun) = he-goat (compound noun)

Pick (verb) + pocket (noun) = pickpocket (compound noun)

Over (adverb) + production (noun) = over-production (compound noun).

Up (preposition) + keep (verb) = upkeep (compound noun).

In (preposition) + come (verb) = income (compound noun).

Draw (verb) + back (adverb) = drawback (compound noun).

Hear (verb) + say (verb) = hearsay (compound noun).

Sometimes a compound noun consists of three words. Such compound nouns usually have the following structure:

Noun + V-ing / V - p.p. + Noun.

e.g., God-fearing person ( = Person who fears God).

Machine-made clothes ( = Clothes made by machine).

Compound nouns can be written in different ways :

1) with no space between two words : footpath.

2) with hyphen : tea-set.

3) with space between the words : mango tree.

4) with hyphen between the first & the second words : Tea-growing area.

5) without any hyphen : Calcutta bus routes.

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    Nice answer. I am upvoting it May 31, 2020 at 16:28
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    A big thank for this answer May 31, 2020 at 16:57
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    Not quite: if there is a space between the words, it's not a compound, e.g. "mango tree" is not a compound, but a syntactic construction consisting of head+modifier. Note that compounds are single words. "Tea-growing" is a compound, but the word "area" isn't part of the compound, but head of the NP "tea-growing area". And "God-fearing" is a compound, but "person" isn't part of it. It's head of the NP "God-fearing person" Further, compound nouns are not necessarily made up of different POS's, for example "ashtray", "pillow-case", "palm-tree", "cowshed" and many more are all noun+noun compounds.
    – BillJ
    May 31, 2020 at 17:05
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    @AltafJahangir "Deep sleep" and "heavy rain" are not compound nouns but syntactic constructions, more precisely noun phrases (typical collocations). We know this because the first element can be modified, cf, "[very deep] sleep" / "[very heavy] rain". By contrast, the first element in a compound cannot be modified.
    – BillJ
    May 31, 2020 at 17:26
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    @BillJ, I have given the example of noun + noun compound, such as "moonlight". Apart from this, compound nouns are made up of different POS's. May 31, 2020 at 17:39

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