Compound Nouns (9 of 10): Would you like to treat this animal?

By | October 26, 2020


One of the aspects of the Chinese language which I really like is the way it creates nouns by combining two simple nouns. These are called ‘compound nouns’. For example, in Chinese, a vet is called: ‘animal doctor’ (‘show-i’). It is indeed an animal doctor. That’s exactly what it is, so the name is perfectly logical (although the picture of the animal shown above is not quite logical, right!? – and it might be a little difficult to treat!).

In English, you could say ‘animal doctor’, and people would understand, but we have a special word: ‘vet’ (which is the shortened version of ‘veterinarian’). But don’t be misled: English has many compound nouns – just not as many as in Chinese. So, let’s practise some compound nouns. Match a noun in A with a noun in B to form a compound noun.


By the way, the answers to the previous post are alarm clock, carport, traffic light, toothpaste, cigarette lighter, can opener, tape recorder, and earthquake.

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Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed