22nd May 2020




DATE: 12th July, 2020

CLASS: JSSS 1 and 2

SUBJECT: Grammar

TOPIC: Compound Words


Brief explanation

Notes for the pupils

A compound word is formed when two words are combined to make a new word with a new meaning. For example, cup + cake = cupcake which is a new word with a different meaning.

A compound can be identified when two words which can stand on their own and make a meaning, are brought together to make one word that has a different meaning from the two words together that made up that one word.

Examples of compound words

  1. Camp + fire = campfire
  2. Earth + worm = earthworm
  3. Pop + corn = popcorn
  4. Snow + ball = snowball
  5. Sun + flower = sunflower
  6. Make + up = makeup
  7. Eye + ball = eyeball
  8. Finger + nail = fingernail
  9. Good + night = goodnight
  10. Hand + shake = handshake
  11. Hand + out = handout
  12. Ice + cream = ice-cream
  13. Lap + top = laptop
  14. Hot + dog = hotdog
  15. French + fries = french-fries

There are three types of compound words. i.e. compound words could be formed in three ways namely:

  1. Closed compound words.
  2. Open compound words
  3. Hyphenated compound words

Closed compound words

These are words that are written as single words. They are joined together without any space between them. Examples: haircut, newspaper, grandmother, midnight, starlight, tablespoon, superman, teacup, watermelon.

Open compound words

These are compound words that are written as separate words such as high school, living room, school bus, take down, video game, solar system, movie theatre, high heels, car wash, bow tie.

Hyphenated compound words

These are compound words that use a hyphen in between the words. Examples: well-known, second-rate, merry-go-round, father-in-law, long-term, up-to-date, seventy-two, check-in, over-the-counter, full-term, on-campus, state-of-the-arts.

N/B: Hyphenated compound words are most commonly combined to form an adjective before a noun.


  1. What are compound words?
  2. Name the three types of compound words.
  3. Write down 10 open compound words.
  4. Write down 10 closed compound words.
  5. Write down 10 hyphenated compound words.


Day 2


Cliché refers to an expression that has been overused to the extent that it loses its original meaning.

Examples of clichés:

  1. In the nick of time – to happen just in time.
  2. Only time will tell – to become clear over time.
  3. As brave as a lion – describes a brave person.
  4. Fit as a fiddle – describes a person in a good shape.
  5. As clever as a fox – describes a very clever person.
  6. Frighten to death – to be too frightened.
  7. Every cloud has a silver lining – problems also have something good in them.
  8. Time heals every wound – pain and miseries will heal with the passage of time.
  9. They all lived happily ever after.
  10. Read between the lines.
  11. Fall head over heels.
  12. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
  13. The quiet before the storm.
  14. Between the devil and the deep blue sea. A dilemma.

Due to its repetitive use in social life the above phrases have lost their original power. However, it is important to note that constant reuse of expressions does not necessary create a cliché. Expressions that are used almost all the time during formal ceremonies, festivals, courts etc. are not considered cliché; they befit such occasions and are regarded as appropriate.

Examples of expressions that are not clichés

  1. I second the motion.
  2. I now pronounce you man and wife.
  3. I do solemnly swear.
  4. Happy birthday!


Write down ten clichés different from the ones you have been given.