EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub

Please note that these ESL Forums are NOT part of MyEnglishClub. To post at these ESL Forums please register ↑ first.

the leg of the table VS the table leg

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

the leg of the table VS the table leg

Postby SARDORBEK » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:36 am

Dear TEACHER!
We know when one noun modifies another noun there are three structures:
a) noun + noun
b) noun + 's + noun
c) noun + preposition + noun.

In general, we can say for things,ideas etc. both
a) the garage door (noun + noun) and
b) the door of the garage (noun + prep. + noun)

But I came across two different examples in two different grammar books:
One says "The leg of the table" < ---- is correct while
the other says both "the leg of the table" and "the table's leg" are incorrect,
only the noun + noun structure is possible ------> a table leg.
I agree that "the table's leg" is incorrect? But as for "the leg of the table"
which structure is more grammatically correct in this phrase:
a) noun + noun or
b) noun + prep. + noun

Many thanks...
SARDORBEK
Gold Member
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:34 pm
Status: English Learner

Re: the leg of the table VS the table leg

Postby Alan » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:20 am

Both are possible, but to refer to a specific leg, 'the leg of the table' is more natural, while 'a table leg' would generally mean the leg of any table.

Natural usage in this regard is, however, notoriously irregular: 'the bedroom door', for instance, happens to be much more idiomatic than 'the door of the bedroom'.

A good learners' dictionary should carry this kind of information.
User avatar
Alan
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
 
Posts: 12042
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Japan
Status: English Teacher


Return to Grammar Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests