Sound like a Native Speaker: Compound Nouns

Sound like a Native Speaker: Compound Nouns

What do the words “newspaper”, “bedroom”, and “blackboard” have in common? They are all compound nouns. In this video, I will teach you what compound nouns are and how to pronounce them correctly. I will also be teaching you about pronunciation stress, which will help you sound more like a native speaker. After watching, take the quiz to practice everything you have learned.


Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today’s lesson, I’m going to teach you what a compound noun is, and how to pronounce compound nouns. So, in this video, you’re going to learn pronunciation and also about what is a compound noun.

So, let’s look at what a compound noun is to get started. I have here five words. “Bed”, “news”, “hair”, “sun”, “foot”, and beside them, I have another word: “room”, “paper”, “cut”, “glasses”, “ball”. These are examples of compound nouns. So, you might have guessed it already, a compound noun is where you have a word and another word that have been put together to form a new word. So, “bed” and “room” together become “bedroom”. “News” and “paper” become “newspaper”. “Hair”, “cut” becomes “haircut”. “Sun” and “glasses” is “sunglasses”. And finally, “foot” and “ball” is “football”. Pretty simple, I think.

So, what I would like you to do now is I want you to take out a piece of paper and a pen, and try to think of as many compound nouns as you can. Okay? So take a moment, pause the video, brainstorm for maybe one to two minutes all of the compound nouns you can think of. All right.

Okay, so now that you have your list of compound nouns, I want to teach you about how to pronounce these words. Okay? So, the key here is a compound noun is made up of at least two words. Where do you think the stress is? What part of the word do you think we say louder and longer? What do I mean by this? Well, for example, do you think I say: “bedroom” or “bedroom”? If you said “bedroom”, you are correct. For compound nouns, the very first part or the first word in the compound noun, we say it longer and louder. All right?

So repeat after me: “Bedroom. Bedroom”. Okay? And again, here: “news” is the part we say louder and longer. “Newspaper. Newspaper.” Okay. Here, again, we say the first part louder and longer. “Haircut. Haircut.” Okay. Can you guess where the stress is going to be here? If you said: “On ‘sun'”. You are correct. “Sunglasses. Sunglasses.” Okay?

And I’m saying the first part very loud and long, maybe a little bit too exaggerated. But with stress, it’s very important to stress your syllables correctly, because this can really impact whether or not a native speaker understands you. So, this is very important. Stress is very important. Okay. Finally: “Football. Football.” So what part was louder? This part was louder. “Football.” Okay?

So, let’s try to say some of these words in a sentence, and I want you to repeat after me and pay attention to the stress. Okay? So, I have this sentence: “My bedroom is nice.” So, again, this is the part that’s loud. “My bedroom is nice.”, “Your sunglasses… Your sunglasses are pink like the sunrise.” Oh, great, we have another compound noun right here. “Sun” and “rise”, they are two different words that have been brought together. So “sun” will be louder. “Your sunglasses are pink like the sunrise.” Okay? And finally: “She pays football.” So, again, we have our stress at the first word. “She plays football.”

So, again, you can find these compound nouns everywhere. If you look in an English newspaper, if you look on an English website, there are thousands of them. So this is quite important. Again, it’s usually the very first word within a compound noun that is stressed, that is longer and louder.

So, I invite you to come check our website at There, you can actually do a quiz to make sure you understand what a compound noun is. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel where I have a variety of videos on many different subjects. Until next time, take care.