Compound Words

Compound words are words that are formed by combining two or more words to create a new word with a new meaning. Compound words can be formed in different ways, such as by combining two nouns, a noun, and an adjective, or an adjective and a verb.

Examples of compound words include: notebook, basketball, snowball, breakfast, dishwasher, and so on.

Formation of Compound Words:

  1. Noun + Noun Compound words can be formed by combining two nouns, for example:
  • Toothbrush
  • Football
  • Bedroom
  • Sunflower
  1. Adjective + Noun Compound words can be formed by combining an adjective and a noun, for example:
  • Blackboard
  • Greenhouse
  • Blueberry
  • Softball
  1. Verb + Noun Compound words can be formed by combining a verb and a noun, for example:
  • Bookshelf
  • Dishwasher
  • Haircut
  • Raincoat
  1. Adverb + Adjective Compound words can be formed by combining an adverb and an adjective, for example:
  • Well-known
  • Deep-sea
  • High-speed
  • Fast-paced

Common Compound Word Mistakes:

  1. Hyphen Usage
  • Some compound words require a hyphen to be used between the two words, for example, “self-esteem” and “high-tech.”
  1. Separating Compound Words
  • Do not separate the words that form a compound word, for example, “basket ball” is incorrect, it should be “basketball.”
  1. Capitalization
  • Compound words should be capitalized if the individual words would also be capitalized, for example, “New York” in “New York Times.”


  1. Form a compound word from the following pairs of words:
  • Sun + Flower
  • High + Way
  • Note + Book
  • Milk + Shake
  1. Choose the correct form of the compound word:
  • The _____ (basket ball/basketball) game was exciting.
  • She bought a _____ (dish washer/dishwasher) for her kitchen.
  • He has a _____ (new found/newfound) interest in gardening.
  1. Identify the error in the following sentence and correct it:
  • She went to the sunflower field to pick some sun flowers.


Compound words are an essential part of the English language. Understanding how to form and use compound words can help you communicate more effectively in both spoken and written English. Practice creating compound words and pay attention to common mistakes to improve your language skills.