People often ask me whether compound nouns should be written as one word or two. For example, do we write seafood or sea food and clubhouse or club house?
Before reading the article that I shared in yesterday's lesson, I didn't have a good way to answer the question above. I didn't know that an easy rule existed.
Look again at the following three rules for compound nouns:
- For nouns with two syllables, like break-up and set-to, the rule is easy: use a hyphen only when the second word has two letters.
- If the second part of the word has more than two letters, it should be spelled as a single word, like coastline or bedroom.
- if the noun has three or more syllables, it is two separate words e.g. bathing suit and washing machine.
These rules tell us that seafood and clubhouse should be written as one word (rule 2). Can you find any more examples in the IELTS listening tests that you have done?