Exercise 3: Compound Nouns

Compound Nouns

Compound nouns are single words made from two separate nouns or an adjective and a noun. Compound nouns with two syllables are always stressed on the first syllable.

BLACKboard
BLUEbird
TOOTHbrush

Compare these with regular adjective + noun phrases. In these, the noun gets the strongest stress:

black BOARD
blue BIRD

If a compound noun has more than two syllables, the strongest syllable is the syllable that is stressed in the first component noun.

Directions:
For items 1-5, try to predict the word stress. Type out the syllable that you expect to be stressed. For items 6-8, listen to the audio clip. Do you hear a compound noun or an adjective + noun phrase?