What Are Compound Words?
Compound words are two or more words, each with separate meanings, that join together to form a new word with its own meaning.
Why Learn Compound Words?
Children in Language Arts Level 1 read simple one- to two-syllable words like bath, tub, butter, and fly. Joining words like these into compound words boosts confidence as children read longer words with ease. Learn more about our FREE homeschool curriculum here.
Compound Words for Kids
We have gathered a list of more than 300 common compound words for kids. A printable version of this list is in our free download below.
Compound Words for Advanced Readers
The compound words shared so far in this blog are called closed compound words, two words joined together to form a single new word. Two other types of compound words are open and hyphenated.
Readers recognize open compound words as two separate words that team up to have one joint meaning. For example, “peanut butter” is two separate words that team together to form one meaning. Here are some other examples.
When to Hyphenate Compound Words
Knowing exactly when to use a hyphen or space between compound words gets tricky. The easiest way to learn when to use each is by becoming familiar with seeing compound words in print. Reading great books builds children’s vocabulary and helps them know when to hyphenate compound words!
Hyphenated compound words are easy to identify by a hyphen, rather than a space, used between each word. The rules for when to use a hyphen in a compound word can be a bit confusing.
For example, in the sentence, “He took a year-long journey through South America,” a hyphen is used between the words year and long because the words are used as an adjective.
Used as nouns, however, hyphenated compound words look like this: “We gave the traveler a big send-off as he boarded the plane.”
Download our free Compound Words list (with more than 300 compound words)!
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