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Today we are going to have a look at a different way to create an adjective. Sometimes we want to describe something by thinking about the use of the object. The use of that object might have something to do with another object. In English it is possible to use that other noun before your original noun and use it as an adjective.
For example, if you have a bottle, there are many things you can put in the bottle. Let’s say that the thing we want to put into this bottle is water, which is another noun. We can now refer to the bottle as a “water bottle”. The word “water” is now being used as an adjective to describe what is or can be put in the bottle.
Another good example is a plate. There are many things you can put on a plate, but if you want to generalise and talk about dinner, you can then refer to the plate as a “dinner plate”. It is literally a plate for your dinner. There are many other different kinds of plate like a “salad plate”, a “bread plate” or a “dessert plate”. So you can see that we can add many other nouns in front of the word plate to describe what it should be used for.
A really good example is right in your house – ROOMS! Bedroom, utility room and bathroom are great examples of this use of a noun as an adjective. The room is being described by its use.
Some of these words have evolved. For example, the word “bedroom” is a combination of the words “bed” and “room”. As these two words were so commonly linked together, they eventually formed one word. We can see this same development with many other words that we use every day.
The word “toothbrush” is a combination of the nouns “tooth” and “brush”. Or how about the word “tablecloth” which is a combination of the nouns “table” and “cloth”. There is a game that a lot of us know and love which is another combination of two nouns – football. It combines the nouns “foot” and “ball”. There are many other examples of this in the English language.
The use of nouns as adjectives is a common and very important part of the English language and it still evolves today as we create new things in our ever changing world. Thirty years ago, not many people had a “computer room”, but they are quite commonplace now. Ten years ago most people did not have a “Facebook Profile”, but now you are out of the loop if you do not have one.
Have a look around you right now and see how many things you have near you that are named with a noun being used as an adjective. I am sure there are many.
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