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Compound Words Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in English Grammar, English Language, English Vocabulary

If you have been learning English for quite some time, then you have probably come across the idea of compound words before.  If you aren’t familiar with compound words, here is what you need to know.  A compound word is formed by joining two words together to make a single new word.

Some examples are:

  • play + ground = playground
  • black + list = blacklist
  • cross + word = crossword

Here are some you can try to get going.  If you don’t know what the compound word means once you have put it together, don’t forget to get out a dictionary and look up the meaning

1.  sun   +   shine   =

2.  camp   +   fire   =

3.  jet   +   pack   =

4.  base   +   ball   =

5.   sun   +   flower   =

6.  rattle   +   snake   =

7.  horse   +   back   =

8.  skate   +   board   =

9.  butter   +   fly  =

Here is a list of compound words that are all mixed up.  They no longer make any sense but maybe you can take them up apart and correctly match them so that the words make sense again.

  • handboard
  • bookfall
  • anyroom
  • classground
  • playbox
  • waterbag
  • postshelf
  • cupbody

Lastly, can you figure out the answer to each of these questions?  As a hint, all the answers are compound words.

1.  A large yellow sour fruit

2.  A room where students are taught

3.  Something cold to eat in the summer that comes in a variety of flavours

4.  Something a spider makes

5.  A beautiful insect with transparent wings

6.  A sudden shaking inside the earth

7.  A piece of chicken or something used to beat a musical instrument

What is your favourite compound word?


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  1. isa sunderland:

    didn’t you mean “waterbag” so you could form the word “handbag”?

  2. nina:


    • heather:

      @nina Heartstrings is a really nice compound word, Nina. And perfect for this time of year (February – Valentine’s Day)!

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