There is a rule called "Noun+Noun" like Rose garden or local police that the first noun modifies the second one and work as a kind of adjective, but there are some words that i can't understand their structure, like "attorney general", "the way home", "best/worst case scenario". what kind of rule do they follow?

asked Mar 23 '12 at 06:16 Amirhossein New member

2 answers


"Local police" is actually Adjective+Noun.  Local is usually an adjective, though some use it as a noun to refer to local residents.


"Attorney General" is a job title.  It would make more sense if they had called it "General Attorney," since it appears that the adjective comes last.  But think of the 2 words together as one and they make more sense.


In best case scenario and worst case scenario, the first word modifies the second, and combined, they modify the third.  So the first 2 words act as a compound adjective.


I never really thought of "the way home."  That implies, "the path that leads home" or "the way which goes home."  It is more of an idiom or metaphor, and generally is used to refer to completion of a goal.

link comment answered Mar 23 '12 at 09:25 Courtney Contributor

From various sources on the Internet, the term attorney general appears to have originally referred to an attorney given general authority to represent a principal.  Also, it seems to derive from French (i.e. avocat général), which would account for the unusual order of the words in English.  When also considering the fact that we create the plural by adding an "s" to attorney and not to general, it seems clear that attorney is the noun and general is an adjective.

link comment answered Sep 05 '15 at 17:35 Genji Bunch New member

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