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Friday, August 06, 2010

ESL Teacher Blog: Nouns As Adjectives - Common Mistakes by ESL Learners

Nouns are sometimes used to describe other nouns (e.g..: flower shop). In this case, the 1st noun functions as an adjective.
 
ESL students often incorrectly try to modify the 1st noun to make it agree with the 2d one. Below are some common mistakes that are worth paying their attention to:
 
using a plural noun instead of a singular (in the initial position)
 
shoe store (not *shoes store)
vegetable stew (not *vegetables stew)
hand cream (not *hands cream)
 
adding an apostrophe to the plural exceptions
 
sports car (not *sports’ car or sport’s car)
 
more plural exceptions (the 1st noun is always used in the plural in these combinations):
 
savings account (but daylight saving time)
customs officer
clothes shop
linguistics/statistics/economics/mathematics/politics major
arts festival
news update
gymnastics/athletics gear
sales tax
measles/mumps vaccine
billiards table
acoustics quality
mnemonics technique
 
overusing the possessive form
 
Possessive constructions are usually limited to nouns that refer to humans: men’s hockey, driver’s license, uncle’s wedding. While sometimes both options are possible (children book/children’s book), even in the case of nouns that refer to this group, the use of possessives can sound awkward:
 
staff meeting (not *staff’s meeting)
government office (not *government’s office)
team lead (not *team’s lead)
faculty building (not *faculty’s building)
teacher trainer (not *teacher’s trainer)
 
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 6:00 PM
Comments
Sunday, June 23, 2013 AT 1:11 AM
Lola said:
That's an expret answer to an interesting question

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