Some compounds are typically spelled while the single terms and conditions (elizabeth

Some compounds are typically spelled while the single terms and conditions (elizabeth

substance | compounding

A compound is a word or lexical unit formed by combining two or more words (a process called compounding)pounds may be formed in many ways: common types in English include noun + noun (e.g. bookcase), adjective + noun (e.g. blackbird), noun + adjective (e.g. tax-free), noun chinalovecupid + early in the day participle (e.g. handmade), and verb + adverb (often based on phrasal verbs, e.g. lookout).

g. blackbird, handmade), particular because independent conditions (age.grams. atom bomb, home), and some that have hyphens (elizabeth.g. tax-free, mother-in-law). With many substances there was type of the alternatives.

  • In the OED, compounds are treated as entries in their own right if they are particularly significant, for example because they have been in use for a long time, are widely used, or have several meanings. For example, there is a separate entry for Atom-bomb n., and the ‘Origin’ section notes that it is formed ‘by compounding’: that is, by combining the two nouns atom and bomb.
  • Other compounds are covered under the first element of the compound, either at the most relevant sense, or in a separate section towards the end of an entry with the heading ‘Compounds’. For example, the entry Football n. has a large compounds section including football club, football team, football player, football-crazy, and many others.


A concrete noun denotes a physical object, place, person, or animal (as opposed to an abstract noun, which denotes something immaterial such as an idea, quality, state, or action).

  • On PITH n., the branch with ‘Concrete uses’ includes senses such as ‘the soft internal tissue of a plant part’ (as in ‘Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, discarding all the bitter white pith’).


A conditional term is a clause, typically beginning with if or until, which expresses a condition. For example, in ‘If my car breaks down again, I will have to buy a new one’, the clause if my car breaks down again is a conditional clause. A sentence or statement which contains a conditional clause may be described as a conditional sentence or statement.

  • Agreeable adj. step three, ‘Of a person: willing to agree to something’, is described as ‘In later use chiefly in conditional statements.’ An example is: ‘Well, sir, if the Ann’s compliant, I say ditto.’
  • Getting v. P3d describes the use of were it not for and if it were not for in forming ‘conditional conditions expressing exception’. An example of a conditional clause introduced by if it were not for is: ‘A small-print floral dress in lilac-very like a housecoat print, in the event it just weren’t for the unique background of inky-black.’

combination (conj.)

A conjunction is a word used to connect other words, termss, clauses, or sentences. And, but, or, if, when, although, because, and unless are all common conjunctions in English. Some conple as soon as; these may be described as compound conjunctions.

  • Entries for conple, the use of unless as a con never angry with anybody unless they deserve it’, is treated at Until conj.
  • Account letter. P1d(b) describes the use of the phraseon the account as a ‘compound conjunction’ meaning ‘on account of the fact that; because’, giving examples such as ‘the priests said give her work on account she was a charity’.


A construction is any group of words functioning together grammatically. For example, the string of words want to come is a construction consisting of a verb and an infinitive; the phrase be going to in ‘I’m going to leave now’ is a construction used to express future time; and the phrase Maureen’s coat is a genitive construction.

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