Komposita (Compound words)
In simple words, when two words are joined together to form a new word are called compound words. Like any other language, German language also has a lot of compond words. Sometimes which makes it easy for a person to understand the meaning and sometimes it becomes a lot difficult. We will learn different types of compound words and about their formation.
First, let’s take an example:
die Schule + der Lehrer = der Schullehrer
As we can see here, Schule means “School” and Lehrer means “Teacher”. After combining these two words it becomes, Schullehrer, i.e. “Schoolteacher”
- Now, the important point is that the first word is the (Determinant) always descreibes the second word (Basic word). e.g. , the teacher is a school teacher.
- Secondly, the gender is always determined by the second word. e.g., der Lehrer. So, der Schullehrer.
Now we will learn the formation of a compound word:
Formation of a compound word can be in three different forms. Let’s look at them.
- Noun + Noun :
der Dieb + die Tasche = der Taschendieb
das Leder + die Tasche = die Ledertasche
die Schule + der Hof = der Schulhof
die Pizza + der Bäcker = der Pizzabäcker
die Schule + das Mädchen = die Mädchenschule
- Adjective + Noun :
Mager + die Milch = die Magermilch (Skimmed milk)
Bunt + die Papier = die Buntpapier (Colored paper)
Klein+ der Garten = der kleingarten (Allotment garden)
Süβ + die Kartoffel = die Süβkartoffel (Sweet potato)
Universal + das Genie = das Universalgenie (Universal genius)
- Noun + Verb :
die Schlange + stehen = Schlange stehen (to stand in a queue)
das Tennis + spielen = Tennis spielen (to play Tennis)
das Eis + laufen = Eislaufen (to ice skate)
der Brand + marken = Brandmarken (to brand)
die Hand + haben = Handhaben (to handle/ manage)