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Compound Nouns

A compound noun is a noun that is made with two or more words, often nouns but not always, noun + noun or adjective + noun

noun + noun: bus stop, football, table leg (we don’t say X’a table’s leg’X or X’the leg of the table’X, coffee beans, love story, record player.

(You can also have 2 nouns with an apostrophe + s on the first noun, though these aren’t compound nouns: My brother’s phone, the teacher’s shirt, Craig’s chocolate, Reza’s obsessions.

adjective + noun: whiteboard, software, greyhound.

There are 3 ways of writing compound nouns. Dictionaries don’t always agree

1. separate – full moon, car bomb, video recorder, football stadium (which contains the compound noun “football” within the compound noun!)

2. together – classroom, toothpaste, lighthouse, laptop, tearaway

3. with a hyphen (guión) – check-in, six-pack, water-bottle, carry-on

If you take a phrasal verb and make it a compound noun, generally speaking it has a hyphen.
Compound nouns tend to have more stress on the first word. – classroom, football, table tennis

Changing the stress to the second word can change the meaning: GREENhouse (invernadero) / green HOUSE
ENGLISH teacher – a person who teaches English
English TEACHER – A teacher who is from England



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The Prepositions Out, Up, Of and Off

go out – Reza didn’t go out last night, he stayed in.
walk out (the room, the door)
fall out (with)
to be out – He/she’s out (He/she’s not here)
I’m out of milk, biscuits (I don’t have any)

Out it often used with ‘of’
out of touch
out of town
out of the way
out of bounds (fuera del límite)
out of date
out of sight (“out of sight, out of mind”)
out of touch


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Quantifiers – Not all of them, but a few of them! Quantifiers | ‘some’ ‘lots of’ ‘a few of’ ‘most’ 'loads of'

One of / a few of / some of / most of / all of / none of

A few of our podcasts are about grammar
Most of Reza’s students passed the CAE exam. Not all of them, but 74% – most of them. Unfortunately, some of them didn’t pass.
Reza ate some of the cheese, but not all of it.

One of our podcasts is about how to tell a story in English (Episode 137) One……is (not XareX) / A few of our podcasts ARE about grammar.
Some of our podcasts have special guests
Most of our podcasts have vocabulary translated in the show notes
All of our podcasts are available on itunes!
None of our podcasts are in French

Can you give more examples?
One of / a few of / some of / Most of / All of / None of



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Liar, Layer, Lawyer, Lower, Lie and Lay lie or lay

To lie, a liar, he’s lying.
Lawyer – law (to break the law)
Layer (capa) a layer cake, layers in photoshop
Lower – the comparative of ‘low’

Lie and lay

To lie and to tell a lie. Lie also means to recline (tumbarse, echarse)

Lay requires a direct object and lie does not. So you lie on the bed (no direct object), but you lay your phone on the table (the phone is the direct object).

‘I’m going to lie down’ (no object)


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