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Unit 18. ,Closed-Circuit 'Television and 'Sell-by Date.

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Stress in Longer Compound Nouns

Unit 18; Part A

Some compounds are made up of three parts. They may have two words or three words, and sometimes the first and second words are hyphenated:
      desktop publishing    central nervous system    left-luggage office
part:  1    2          3               1            2           3          1      2          3
 

Unit 18; Part B

Many three-part compounds have secondary stress on the first part and main stress on the third part:
      ,first-degree 'burns       ,three-point 'turn      ,cheque-book 'journalism

Some of these use an established two-part compound with stress on the first part. In the new three-part compound, however, main stress is on the third part:

           two-part:      'ballroom    'desktop
          
three-part:    ,ballroom 'dancing    ,desktop 'publishing

        Other examples: ,cheque-book 'journalism  ,hairpin 'bend  ,rush hour 'traffic
 
18.1.jpgIn other three-part compounds the first two parts (often joined with a hyphen) function as an adjective to describe the third part:
        ,state-owned 'industry (the industry is state-owned)
        ,closed-circuit 'television (the television is closed-circuit)
Other examples:
,ball-point 'pen  ,button-down 'collar  ,first-degree 'burns   ,drop-down 'menu  ,semi-detached 'house  ,wide-angle 'lens

note.jpgNote: Compounds beginning with a number usually have this pattern, too:
,ten-pin 'bowlin g    ,one-man 'band
Other examples: ,one-parent 'family  ,two-horse 'race

Unit 18; Part C

Other three-part compounds have secondary stress on the first part and main stress on the second part:
     ,school 'leaving age      ,left-'luggage office      ,parent-'teacher association

Some of these use an established two-part compound with main stress on the second part. In the new three-part compound the stress remains on the second part:

     two-part:      ,washing-'up    ,central 'heating
     three-part:    ,washing-'up liquid    ,central 'heating system
Other examples: ,hard-'luck story  ,C'D player  ,wild-'goose chase

In others, a first part with secondary stress is added to an established two-part compound with stress on the first part.
Compare:
     'carriageway    and:  ,dual 'carriageway
Other examples: ,armoured person'nel carrier  ,safety de'posit box  ,travelling 'salesman   ,white 'blood cells

Unit 18; Part D

Some three-part compounds have main stress on the first part. Most of these also have secondary stress on the third part:
        'no-man's land    'real estate ,agent        'pick-up ,truck
Other examples: 'fallout ,shelter  'greenhouse ef,fect  'sell-by ,date  'housewarming ,party  'payback ,period  'windscreen ,wipers  'sister-in-law ('brother-in-law, etc.)

 



Exercises

flag.jpgYou will hear 15 three-part compound nouns. Press 'pause' after each one and write it in the correct column, according to whether the first, second or third part has the main stress.
Key.main stress on the first part: pinball machine; aircraft carrier; nail varnish remover; payback period
main stress on the second part: left-luggage office; headed notepaper; car boot sale; level playing field; cooling-off period
main stress on the third part: first-time buyer; downhill skiing; bullet-proof vest; two-way mirror; right-hand drive; household name


main stress on the first part  
main stress on the second part  
main stress on the third part 

pinball machine

 

 

 left-luggage office

 

 

 first-time buyer

 

 

      
Now check your answers in the Key and then say the compounds aloud.
flag.jpgChoose a compound noun from each pair to complete the sentence. The compound should have main stress on the first, second or third part, as indicated. (Some of these are given in B, С and D opposite.)
Key.The syllables with main stress are underlined. The correct answer is given first. Example: washing-up liquid (peanut butter)
1 grant-maintained school (teacher-training college)
2 old-people's home (semi-detached house)
3 air traffic controller (travelling salesman)
4 windscreen wipers (rear-view mirror)
5 baseball cap (shoulder-length hair)

Example: Don't forget to buy some  washing-up liquid .(stress on second part)
              (peanut butter / washing-up liquid)

1 She teaches in a __________. (third)
    (grant-maintained school / teacher-training college)
2 He lives in a/an __________. (second)
    (old-people's home / semi-detached house)
3  He spent some time working as a/an __________. (third)   
    (travelling salesman / air traffic controller)
4  As I was driving I had a problem with my __________. (first)  
    (rear-view mirror / windscreen wipers)
5  You'll recognise him easily. He's the one with the __________. (first)
    (baseball cap / shoulder-length hair)

Now listen and check your answers. Then say the sentences aloud. 
flag.jpgWhat do these pictures show? Choose words from the box to make three-part compound nouns. With one exception, they all have main stress on the third part. Which is the exception?
Key.1 double-decker bus   
2 bullet-proof vest   
3 four-leaf clover  
4 hot-water bottle
5 three-piece suit
6 right-angled triangle
The exception is 'hot-water bottle' which has main stress on the second part, 'water'.

 
angled       bottle       bus       bullet       clover       decker       double       four       hot      leaf       piece       proof       right       suit       three       triangle       vest       water
 
18.2.jpg

Now listen and check your answers. Then say the compounds aloud.

Follow up: Look around your house and list all the things you can see that are three-word compounds. These may be parts of your house or objects inside it. Do you know where the main stress is placed in each?

 
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