noun modifiers

 

We often use two nouns together to show that one thing is a part of something else:

the village church; the car door; the kitchen window; the chair leg;
my coat pocket; London residents

Warning

We do not use a possessive form for these things. We do not talk about:

The car’s door; the kitchen’s window; the chair’s leg

We can use noun modifiers to show what something is made of:

a gold watch; a leather purse; a metal box

We often use noun modifiers with nouns ending in -er and -ing:

an office worker; a jewellery maker; a potato peeler; a shopping list; a swimming lesson; a walking holiday.

We use measurements, age or value as noun modifiers:

a thirty kilogram suitcase; a two minute rest; a five thousand euro platinum watch; a fifty kilometre journey;

We often put two nouns together and readers/listeners have work out what they mean. So:

  • an ice bucket = a bucket to keep ice in
  • an ice cube = a cube made of ice
  • an ice breaker = a ship which breaks ice
  • the ice age = the time when much of the Earth was covered in ice.

Sometimes we find more than two nouns together:

London office workers; grammar practice exercises

Position of noun modifiers


Noun modifiers come after adjectives:

The old newspaper seller
A tiring fifty kilometre journey
 

Task 1

Exercise

Task 2

Exercise