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Form and Use Compound Words

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Basics on the topic Form and Use Compound Words

Compound Words – Definition

First, let’s define compound words:

Compound words occur when two words are joined together to form a new word with a new meaning. For example: The word sun combined with the word glasses creates the word sunglasses. Two seemingly unrelated words create a new word with its own meaning.

Screenshot_2023-08-16_at_12.20.11.png Compound words with pictures

Compound Words – Meaning

Let’s look at the meaning of compound words. To understand what compound words mean, we can use the meaning of two words that we used to form a compound word. Have a look at one of the examples of compound words:

Word 1 Word 2 Compound word
foot ball football

We know what a foot is and what a ball is, so we can guess the meaning of the word football – a ball game that people play using their feet. Let’s practise! Can you find compound words in a sentence?

  • I enjoy building sandcastles in the summer time.

The compound word in this sentence is sandcastles.

When looking for compound words in a sentence, you should search for nouns that can be split into two separate nouns. In the example sentence above, the word sandcastles can be split into sand and castles.

Compound Words – List

If you are looking for good examples of compound words, check out our list of fun compound words for kids. It includes common English compound words that people use every day!

Compound words with ball Compound words with mate Compound words with sun Compound words with way
basketball automate sunburn anyway
football classmate sunglasses carriageway
softball checkmate sunscreen highway
volleyball teammate sunset subway

Compound Words – Summary

Let’s review what we learnt about compound words today.

Compound words occur when two words are joined together to form a new word with a new meaning. Two words can form a compound word only if the newly formed word makes sense. We can deduce the meaning of compound words in sentences by looking at the meaning of each individual word that was used to create a compound word.

Now you know how to form and use compound words! And you know what to answer, if someone asks you “What are the 10 compound words?” or “What are some compound words?” Do you want to practise more and see more compound words examples? Check out our compound words video with pictures of compound words and compound words worksheet! You could also then have a go at your own compound words activity by creating your own compound words list. Did you enjoy our article about compound words? Check out our materials on multiple meaning words.

Frequently Asked Questions about Compound Words

What does compound words mean?
What is the meaning of compound words?
What are the 20 examples of compound words?

Transcript Form and Use Compound Words

"Wow, Pip, this maze is hard, how will we get out?" "The clue said put together two things to make a compound word but what are compound words?" We can help our friends by learning how to form and use compound words. Compound words are two words joined together that make a new word. Like sun and glasses, that on their own might not have much in common, but when put together make sunglasses. Sometimes you can use what you know about the words to help you understand what the compound word means for example, the words foot and ball. A foot is a body part that we can use to kick things and a ball is a round object used to play games. If we put these words together we know that a football is something that we can kick to play a game. Now, let's help our friends with their maze! In their first challenge there are four words. They need to combine two of these to form a compound word. We can use the pictures on the stones to help! When forming compound words, try combining two words to see if it makes sense. If the new word does not make sense, it is not a compound word. Let's see which words our friends combine to make a compound word. That's right, Pip and Koko! Tooth and brush can combine to make the compound word toothbrush! What is a toothbrush? We know that a tooth is in our mouth and a brush helps us to clean. So a toothbrush helps us to clean our teeth. It looks like our friends have found their next challenge! Pip and Koko need to combine two words to make a compound word again but it seems that this time, they are having trouble creating a new word. If they combine jelly and car, it doesn't make sense and does not form a compound word. What about car and pig? Carpig is also not a word and does not make sense. Maybe our friends need the next part of the rule. Some compound words might not seem like they would make sense together. What compound word should they make? They could combine jelly and fish to create the compound word jellyfish. This might be confusing, as a jellyfish isn't a fish filled with jelly but has a jelly like appearance. Whilst we see if our friends have made their way out, let's review. Today we learnt about compound words. Compound words are words that when separate have one meaning, but when combined, create a new meaning. Sometimes we can use what we know about the words to work out which words we need to combine but this doesn't work for every word. When forming compound words, try combining two words to see if it makes sense. If the new compound word makes sense, it is most likely a compound word, however if it doesn't, it is most likely not a compound word. Now, did Pip and Koko make it out of the maze? "We did it! We made it out, Koko!" "And just in time for dinner!"

Form and Use Compound Words exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Form and Use Compound Words.
  • Can you build this compound word?

    Hints

    Look at the last picture and say the word out loud. Which word do you hear first? Place that word in the first space.

    Which word do you hear second? Place that word in the second space.

    Which word belongs in the third space? Your compound word!

    Solution

    pop + corn = popcorn
    Say the word out loud. First, you hear the word "pop". The second word you hear is "corn". Your new compound word is popcorn.
    Compound words are two words joined together that make a new word.

  • Can you identify the missing part of each compound word?

    Hints
    • When forming compound words, try combining two words to see if it makes sense.
    • If the new compound word makes sense, it is most likely a compound word. If it doesn't, it is most likely not a compound word.

    When camping, what sort of fire would you have?

    Solution

    Kala’s favourite flowers are sunflowers.

    Nari set up his tent and built a campfire.

  • Sort the compound and non-compound words.

    Hints

    Remember, a compound word is created by combining two words. Read each word carefully. Not all two syllable words are compound words.

    Let's look at an example of a compound word. This word is sunburn. Sunburn is a burn that happens when the skin is exposed to sunlight for too long. We create this word by combining the words sun and burn together.
    What other compound words can you find?

    Let's look at the word tractor. This is a two syllable word, but it is not a compound word. This word is not made by combining two words.

    Solution

    Read each word carefully. Compound words are two words joined together that make a new word.
    Compound Words

    • waterfall (water + fall)
    • watermelon (water + melon)
    • blueberry (blue + berry)
    • anytime (any + time)
    • toothbrush (tooth + brush)
    Not Compound Words
    • tractor
    • running
    • shovel
    • napkin
    • office

  • Building compound words.

    Hints
    • When forming compound words, try combining two words to see if it makes sense.
    • Read each compound word out loud, if the new word does not make sense, it is not a compound word.

    Let's look at the words break and fast. If we combine these words, we get the compound word breakfast. Does this make sense? Is breakfast a word you know?

    Let's look at the words hair and paper. If we combine these words, we get the compound word hairpaper. Does this make sense? No, this is not a compound word.

    Solution
    1. Breakfast is usually the first meal of the day, eaten in the morning.
    2. Afternoon is the part of the day that happens after the noon o'clock hour and is between noon and sunset.
    3. A classmate is a mate or someone in your class at school.
    4. A haircut is the style you have your hair done in when at the hairdressers.
    5. The newspaper is a paper that contains daily or weekly news articles.
  • Parts of compound words.

    Hints

    Look at each picture, what do you see? Put the words together.

    Carefully check the order of the pictures and words.

    Let's look at this example. We see an image of a fire, a place marker and a fireplace that you might see inside a house.
    fire + place = fireplace.

    Solution

    lunch + box = lunchbox
    bed + room = bedroom
    rain + bow = rainbow

  • Using compound words.

    Hints

    Remember, compound words are two words joined together that make a new word. Look at the words in each sentence, what two words can you combine to create a compound word?

    Look at this sentence:

    Kala’s favourite sport involves a basket and an orange ball. She loves to play _______.

    We can combine the words basket and ball to create a compound word.

    You will not use all of the words in the word bank.

    Solution

    We can combine two words in each sentence to make a compound word.

    1. Each morning, the sun will rise. Sunrise begins at 6:30 AM today.
    2. Kala’s favourite game involves a basket and an orange ball. She loves to play basketball.
    3. In most houses, the toilet and bath are in a special room. This room is the bathroom.
    4. Dee wrote a note for school in his book. He wrote in his notebook.