TNs, U37: Objects(Cognates, Noun of Noun)

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As you may have noticed, a lot of English vocabulary (vocabulaire) comes from French. This has created many etymological patterns that you can use to your advantage when learning new words. Consider the following suffix patterns:

  • -aire ⇒ -ary
    • ordinaire — ordinary
    • un dictionnaire — a dictionary
  • -eur ⇒ -er
    • un chargeur — a charger
    • un serveur — a server (waiter)
  • -tion / -sion ⇒ -tion
    • une invitation — an invitation
    • une condition — a condition
  • -ment (noun) ⇒ -ment
    • un document — a document
    • un gouvernement — a government
  • -ment (adverb) ⇒ -ly
    • probablement — probably
    • evidemment — evidently
  • -ique ⇒ -ical
    • logique — logical
    • électrique — electrical
  • -able ⇒ -able / -ible
    • responsable — responsible
    • indispensable — indispensable

The “Noun of Noun” construction

Unlike English, French does not have noun adjuncts, which are nouns that modify other nouns. Instead, you must use de or another preposition and remove the article to make the second noun add information to the first noun in terms of content, material, quality or purpose. Note that the “noun or noun” construction is also used in English.

  • l'album de photos — the photo album
  • la tasse de thé — the cup of tea
  • le litre de vin — the litre of wine
  • l’âge de pierre — the stone age
  • la soupe de poulet — the chicken soup

Other prepositions can be used with a similar function and construction.

  • le hockey sur gazon — field hockey
  • la tasse à café — tea cup

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