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Unit 29. Second Hand, Bookshop.

Stress in Compound Words

Unit 29; Part A

Compound words are made from two smaller words put together, for example book + shop = bookshop. (They are not always written as one word, for example shoe shop.) In most compound words, the stress is on the first part. For example, the word bookshop has two syllables and the stress is on the first syllable. Listen to these examples.
bookshop, bus stop, footpath, airport, shoe shop, road sign, car park, bedroom
traffic light, bus station, sunglasses, boarding card, window seat, check-in desk
travel agent, art gallery, supermarket, tape recorder, photocopy

note.jpgNote: If the first part of the compound word is an adjective, there may be stress on the second part too, for example OO double room.
Note: There may be stress on the second part of a compound noun when:
  • the object in the second part is made out of the material in the first for example OO glass jar,
  • the first part tells us where the second part is, for example OO car door.

Unit 29; Part B

If the compound word is not a noun, we often put stress on the second part too.
Listen to these examples.

first class, half price, hand made
bad-tempered, old-fashioned, short-sighted
overnight, second hand

Unit 29; Part C

Sometimes a compound word looks the same as
  • a normal adjective and noun,
  • a normal noun and verb.
But the pronunciation is different. Compare:

Oo compound word 
OO adjective and noun
We keep these plants in a greenhouse during the winter months.
Mr Olsen lives in a small, green house next to the river.
OO compound word
OO noun and verb
I saw her bus pass.
I saw her bus pass.



flag.jpgListen. Write the words in bold in the correct columns.
Key.Oo: bookshops; shoe shops; snack bars; something; playground; handbag
Ooo: anything; post office; hairdresser's; everything; hamburger; sports centre; swimming pool; credit card
Oooo: shopping centre; travel agent's; supermarket

There's a good shopping centre. You can find almost anything there.There are bookshops, shoe shops, a travel agent's, a post office, ahairdresser's, a supermarket, everything... and there are a few snackbars if you want a hamburger or something. Oh, and there's a sportscentre too, with a swimming pool and a playground for the kids. But becareful with your handbag, I had my credit card stolen there once!


 Oo Ooo

 anythingshopping centre

Follow up: Record yourself saying the text. Make sure you put the stress in the correct place.

flag.jpgListen. In each sentence, one of the compound words (in bold) has stress on the first part (Oo) and the other has stress on the second part too (OO). Underline the word if there is stress on the second part too.
Key.1. second hand
2. old fashioned
3. hand made
4. short-sighted
5. half price
6. first class

     They did the photocopies overnight.
1    I got this motorbike second hand.   
2    Using a typewriter is so old fashioned.  
3    These earrings were hand made.  
4    I'm short-sighted, like my grandmother
5    All the sunglasses are half price.
6    The waiting room is for first class only.
29.2.jpgflag.jpgListen. Which thing is the speaker asking about? Put a tick next to it and say Yes. I have or No, I haven't. Give a true answer!
Key.1    a Yes, I have.
2    b No, I haven't.
3    a Yes, I have.
4    a Yes, I have.

Example:   Have you ever seen a ski jump?
                  No, I haven't.
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