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Vocabulary 09 - Compound Words Indicating Direction
A view from an EARTHBOUND rocket. 'Earthbound' is a compound word formed from 'earth' and 'bound'.

Vocabulary 09 - Compound Words Indicating Direction

There are thousands of words in the English language and we can learn them in other places besides our English classes. We read newspapers, we read novels, we read instruction booklets, we read advertisements, we watch TV, we listen to radio, we watch movies and we surf the Internet. All the time we are learning many more words and we store them in our vocabulary bank. But have you ever wondered where these words came from?

Sometimes we are aware that the word has come into English from another language. Sometimes we are aware that new technologies create new words and these new words spawn more new words. We know that the eight parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections) contribute to the words list, but from these words we can derive one more class of words: compound words.

Compound words are essentially two other words combined to form a new word. It is likely that the new word formed will be related to the two words used to make it, but not always. It may have a meaning that is not related to the words used at all. It is also possible that the new word could fit into any category of words and sometimes more than one category.

UP and HILL are two words that combine to form UPHILL. We know that UP is used as an adverb, preposition, adjective or noun. HILL is used as a noun or verb. The compound word UPHILL is used as an adverb, adjective or noun. It is this diversity found in the English language that helps us to form newer and newer words.

When you hear somebody say “His organisation’s sales are on a DOWNWARD path” the word in capitals is a compound word and it gives us a sense of direction. There are many compound words that are formed which help us to describe a sense of direction. The quiz that follows tests your knowledge of such words.
1.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Sidebothways
Sidepaths
Waysside
Sideways
'Sideways' means 'moving, facing, or inclining towards one side'. The compound word 'sideways' is an adverb formed from an adjective and a suffix. The other three options are not recognised words
2.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Downmountain
Downmound
Hilldown
Downhill
'Downhill' means 'towards the bottom of a hill or down a slope'. The compound word 'downhill' is an adverb formed from an adverb and a noun. The other three options are not recognised words
3.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Homeward
Wardhome
Homein
Houseout
'Homeward' means 'travelling towards home'. The compound word 'homeward' is an adverb formed from an adverb and a verb. The other three options are not recognised words
4.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Upstairs
Stairsup
Upsteps
Stairsabove
'Upstairs' means 'up the stairs', 'the higher floor of a two storey house' or 'the floor above where one is currently'. In the first case the compound word 'upstairs' is an adverb, in the second an adjective and in the third a noun, formed from an adverb and a noun. The other three options are not recognised words
5.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Throughrun
Throughway
Outthrough
Throughout
'Throughout' means 'right through - from left to right, from top to bottom or from beginning to end'. The compound word 'throughout' is a preposition formed from a preposition and an adverb. A 'throughway' (or thruway) is a compound word used only in the USA (not Britain, Australia and other English speaking countries) to describe a motorway. The other two options are not recognised words
6.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Upback
Stageup
Upstage
Stageback
'Upstage' means 'on, at, or to the rear of the stage' and also 'to divert attention from another towards oneself'. The compound word 'upstage' is an adverb in the first case and a verb in the second, formed from an adverb and a noun. The other three options are not recognised words
7.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Headover
Tophead
Overhead
Headtop
'Overhead' means 'above one's head or up in the sky'. The compound word 'overhead' is an adverb formed from a preposition and a noun. The other three options are not recognised words
8.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Inwent
Sidein
Inside
Goin
'Inside' means 'on the inner side'. The compound word 'inside' is a preposition formed from a preposition and an adjective. The other three options are not recognised words
9.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Earthtight
Earthbound
Earthgrip
Boundearth
'Earthbound' means 'headed for the earth', as in the case of an aeroplane, a rocket or even a meteorite. The compound word 'earthbound' is an adjective formed from a noun and an adjective. The other three options are not recognised words
10.
Choose the compound word from the following list.
Clockwise
Wiseclock
Clockround
Clockcircle
'Clockwise' describes the direction the hands of a clock rotate in. The compound word 'clockwise' is an adverb formed from a noun and an adjective. The other three options are not recognised words
Author:  V T Narendra

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