General Writing and Grammar Help/parsing

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Question
Dear Ted,

Can you please tell me how to parse the 3 words in the following phrase:

“nineteenth century America”

Also:

Does “nineteenth” modify “century”?

Does “century” modify “America”?  

Or,  does “nineteenth century” modify “America”?

If “nineteenth century” modifies “America”  -  is there a special grammatical name for a noun modified by a adjective such as "nineteenth century"  that modifies another noun?

Thank you  

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

I'm sending another message, because the web site I recommended is very valuable for ALL kinds of grammatical issues.

Try the "home page" of the site:  http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

You may have to copy the URL and put it in your browser.  If the page opens, look for the word INDEX in the center.  If you click it on, you'll find an alphabetical listing of everything at the site.  I believe there are 427 entries.  Check the list for "compound words."

I hope it works.  It's one of the best sites I have found.

Ted

*********************************

Can you please tell me how to parse the 3 words in the following phrase:

“nineteenth century America” [hyphenate nineteenth-century, making it a compound adjective]

**** He lived in the nineteenth century.  [nineteenth = adjective; century = noun]
**** Nineteenth-century America was a period of industrial growth.  [nineteenth-century = adjective; America = noun]

Also:

Does “nineteenth” modify “century”?

*** YES

Does “century” modify “America”?

*** NO

Or,  does “nineteenth century” modify “America”?

*** YES

If “nineteenth century” modifies “America”  -  is there a special grammatical
name for a noun modified by a adjective such as "nineteenth century"  that
modifies another noun?

*** YES.  They are called "compound words."  In your example, "nineteenth-century" is a compound adjective.

*** The hyphen is necessary.  Without it, you would have a "nineteenth America" and a "century America."

Here is a good site for both an explanation and a "test" on "compound words."

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/compounds.htm

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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