Unit 3.1

Compound Nouns for Jobs

Introduction

A compound noun is a noun formed by two or more existing words which are combined to create a whole new noun.

Gender neutral nouns for jobs (professions) are used to prevent discrimination.

Form

The most commonly used compound nouns for jobs (with masculine, feminine and politically correct forms) are:

MASCULINE FEMININE POLITICALLY CORRECT
Businessman Businesswoman Businessperson
Cameraman Camera operator Camera operator
Flight attendant Air hostess Flight attendant
Dutchman Dutch person Dutch person
Fireman Firefighter Firefighter
Homemaker Housewife Homemaker

Example

  • He is a very talented businessman.
  • She is such an incredible camera operator!
  • He works as a flight attendant.
  • Desiderius Erasmus is a famous Dutch person.
  • She worked as a firefighter.
  • He enjoys being a homemaker.

Use

There are many masculine and feminine words for jobs, but it is better to use politically correct forms, to avoid discrimination.

Summary

We can use masculine, feminine andgender neutral compound nouns for jobs.

The most commonly used compound nouns for jobs are: businessperson, camera operator, flight attendant, dutch person, firefighter, homemaker…

For example:
— “His father is a fireman.” = A fireman is a male person working at the fire department.
— “His father is a firefighter.” / “His mother is a firefighter.” = A firefighter is a male or female person working at the fire department.

NOTE: In order to be more politically correct and to avoid discrimination, we can use them in neutral gender.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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