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Grammar Reference - NOUN COMBINATIONS



1.       We use ‘s to express a relationship between a person or organization and another person or thing.

-          Mr. Blake’s secretary.
-          Her husband’s car BA’s employees
-          Volvo’s reputation

The ‘s very often means that the relationship can be expressed using have.
-          Mr. Blake has a secretary.
-          Volvo has a reputation.

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2.       When two nouns are used together, the first noun functions as an adjective and describes the second noun.
-          A business card
-          A job description
-          An office complex
-          A travel agency

Sometimes three or more nouns occur together.
-          A company credit card (a credit card issued by a company)
-          A management training programme (a training programme designed for management)

3.       Two nouns are joined by of when the ideas are more abstract.
-          The cost of living
-          Independence of mind
-          The joy of working and lifelong learning

4.       Some compound nouns are written as one word.
-          Database
-          Letterhead
-          Answerphone
-          Headquarters

5.       When compound nouns are used with a number in expressions of measurement, the first noun is singular.
-          A six-lane motorway
-          A four-day week


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