Grammar Lesson - Nouns in Groups

nouns in groups

There are three main ways in which we can put nouns together so that one modifies the other:

1. noun + noun:
a bicycle factory
a war film
the table leg.

2. noun + ’s + noun:
my sister’s car
a bird’s nest
cow’s milk.

3. noun + preposition + noun:
the top of the page
a man from London
a book on modern music
a feeling of disappointment.

Unfortunately, the exact differences between the three structures are complicated and difficult to analyse – this is one of the most difficult areas of English grammar. We use the noun + ’s + noun structure to talk about parts of people’s and animals’ bodies, (e.g. an elephant’s trunk) but to talk about parts of non-living things we usually use noun + noun structure (e.g. the table leg; NOT the table’s leg.)

With words like top, bottom, front, back, side, inside, outside, beginning, middle, end, part we usually prefer the noun + preposition + noun structure:

the top of the page (not: the page top)
the back of the bus (not: the bus back)
the bottom of the glass (not: the glass bottom)
the end of the film (not: the film end)

There are, however, some common exceptions:

the water’s edge
the seaside
the roadside
a mountain top.

We also prefer the noun + preposition + noun structure with words that refer to units, selections and collections, like piece, slice, lump, bunch, blade, pack, herd, flock, group, and so on (e.g. a piece of paper; a bunch of flowers).
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Where do I start studying English?

where do I start

Learning a new language is not something that can be done in a week unless you’re a genius like Daniel Tammet (he learnt how to speak Icelandic fluently in a week). The combination of learning, studying and practice of the English language is a large process (you need months to see the results) but it’s not necessarily boring.

In Learn English Online we’ve shown that English can be learnt in a pleasant and enjoyable way with the hundreds of resources existing on the Internet. However, like in many tasks, the most difficult thing is how to get started.

In this page we’ll collect the Learning Guides that we create and you then can use them depending on your level of English. These Learning Guides are classified following the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) nomenclature: A1 (Elementary), A2 (Basic), B1 (Pre-intermediate), B2 (Intermediate), C1 (Pre-advanced), C2 (Advanced).

We believe that learning has to be not only a natural process but also as funny and entertaining as possible. And this philosophy is the one that we’ve followed when writing these studying or learning guides.

A continuación y dependiendo de tu nivel de inglés puedes navegar entre las diferentes guías de aprendizaje y escoger la que más te guste.

From the three categories below you can browse through the different Learning Guides and choose the one that you most like or according to your level of Engish.

A1 - How to learn English from scratch? - Music
A1 - How to learn English from scratch? - Livemocha
A2 - Learn English in 10 Minutes using Podcasts
A2 - English for beginners - Illnesses vocabulary
A2 - English for beginners - Vocabulary about Football in English

B1 - English for intermediate learners - Reading
B1 - Why using Phrasal Verbs is Crucial For Fluent English
B1 - Learn English Phrasal Verbs Using 3 Powerful Tips
B1 - 3 More Tips to Master English Phrasal Verbs
B1 - Top 20 Most Common English Phrasal Verbs

C1 - A Quick Way to Improve Your Vocabulary - Subtitled Videos
C1 - English for advanced learners - Practise with Videos
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