Nouns as Adjectives | When Nouns Act Like Adjectives

Nouns as Adjectives! As you know, a noun is a person, place or thing, and an adjective is a word that describes a noun. However, sometimes in the English language, a noun is used to describe another noun; in other words, the first noun performs the function of an adjective. Look at the following examples:

– Basketball coach – here the noun basketball is being used to describe the noun coach

– Garment shop – here the noun garment is being used to describe the noun shop

– Painting exhibition – here the noun painting is being used to describe the noun exhibition

In all the above examples, the first noun acts as an adjective.

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Nouns as Adjectives | Rules

Rule 1

The ‘nouns as an adjective’ always come first or before the second or main noun. Let’s see a few more examples:

– A cricket bat

– A soccer ball

– A car race

– A love story

Rule 2

In general, like adjectives, nouns being used as adjectives are used in the singular form, although in the case of certain words, like clothes, customs, sports, etc, an exception is made. For example:

– Bathroom or bathrooms, and not bathsroom or bathsrooms

– Badminton racket or badminton rackets, and not badmintons racket or badmintons rackets

In short, the plural form will always appear on the second noun only.

Some nouns are always written or spoken in the plural forms, but we generally treat them as a singular form. For example:

– A billiards player

– A news editor

Some nouns are always treated in the plural forms when used as an adjective. For example:

– Sports museum

– Clothes outlet

– Accounts manager

Rule 3

Multiple nouns can also be used as adjectives. For example:

– School cricket team coach

– Motor production cost

– Child health care research center

Rule 4

We can also use a true adjective before nouns as adjectives. For example:

Famous Indian cricket player

Cute coffee mug

Delectable Chinese cuisine

Honest school teacher

Increasing air pollution

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Patricia Meloy
Patricia Meloy
2 years ago

In addition, an adjective may be used as a noun. This is called the nominalization of an adjective. Not as common in English, it is very common in Spanish. Perhaps it is common in other Latin-derived languages such as Italian and Portuguese as well. Here are a couple of examples of nominalization of an adjective in English: EXAMPLE 1 A) The blue suitcase is heavier than the red suitcase. B) The blue suitcase is heavier than the red. (suitcase is understood) In sentence A, the word blue and the word red function as adjectives to describe two different suitcases. In… Read more »

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