Compound words

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

Rustamsher
Silver Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:34 am
Status: English Learner

Compound words

Postby Rustamsher » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:00 am

When a word has two or more constituents we often hyphenate them. A word so hyphenated is considered single for all general purposes; e.g. well-wisher, seven-year-old etc. These words appear as well-wishers and seven-year-olds in their plural forms.

On the same analogy we tend to make the plural of any hyphenated word by adding an 's' to the ending component. For instance, the plural of 'brother-in-law' is made 'brother-in-laws' rather than 'brothers-in-law', though the dominant word within is 'brother'.

Such pluralizations are not standard and correct, particularly in BrE, but a trend to use it that way is sometimes found. Is it acceptable?

User avatar
Alan
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12271
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Re: Compound words

Postby Alan » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:17 am

Not really grammar...

Please consult a learners' dictionary concerning such matters.


Return to “Grammar Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests