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(a house that’s painted white)•ˈhotˈdog(a dog that feelshot)If you don’t already know, how can you tell if a combination of words is a compound noun or an adjective plus a noun? Here are some guidelines, although they don’t always work: •If it’s written as one word or as two words with a hyphen, it’s a compound noun.•If it’s written as two words, the more common, well-established phrases are more likely to be compounds. More unusual or unpredictable phrases are probably not, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. For example, the following box lists some compound nouns beginning with the word school and some phrases that use schoolto modify a noun.Compound nouns(Stress on first part)Not compound nouns(Stress on both parts)School ageSchool boardSchool bookSchool boySchool busSchool childSchool daySchool districtSchool girlSchool hoursSchoolhouseSchoolroomSchool teacherSchool workSchool yearSchool administratorSchool classroomSchool colorsSchool counselorSchool diplomaSchool festivalSchool librarySchool lunchSchool nurseSchool principalSchool projectSchool psychologistSchool transportationSchool tripSchool violenceOverall, the !rst group has more common combinations that have been in use for a long time, like schoolhouseand schoolteacher, and the second group has less common or more recent phrases, like school psychologistor school trip.Still, it’s often hard to predict whether a particular phrase is a compound noun or an adjective plus noun.So what can students do? When they learn a new compound word, they should learn its stress pattern along with its pronunciation. Listen to it when it’s modeled, practice saying 108
it correctly, and get used to the whole sound of it. They should also pay attention to the stress patterns of commonly used adjective-noun combinations when they hear them, just as they do when they learn new vocabulary words. Still, learners will probably use incorrect stress from time to time, just as they probably make mistakes in pronouncing sounds. This is an inevitable part of learning. Stress in phrasal verbsEnglish also has many phrasal verbs,ortwo-word verbs,such as put on, get up, turn off, andtake over. Phrasal verbs are usually written as two separate words, and in sentences, their two parts are sometimes separated by other words. Unlike compound nouns, phrasal verbs are usually stressed on the secondpart, especially when it comes at the end of a sentence or thought group.Please come ˈin. Pick it ˈup. I turned it ˈon. However, when a phrasal verb is followed by a noun that is its object, the stress is di"erent. The !rst part of the verb receives a little stress, and the primary stress moves to the object of the phrasal verb: Pick up the ˈpaper. I turned on the ˈlight.