of compound words - Determining and Determined
Compound words are always composed of a determining
part and a part that is determined. The part, which is
determined, is always in the last position within the
word and defines what the thing actually is and it
also determines the article of the compound word.
= telephone cable
The Telefonkabel is
a cable not a telephone. The determined part is Kabel
and not Telefon. The Telefon
specifies Kabel and gives
us the information, what kind of cable it is.
Once more: The Telefon
is the determined; we know it is a telephone.
The Haus specifies what
kind of telephone it is.
entrance (door of a house)
door made of metal
door of a car
price for electricity
If you find this trivial, fine for us. We just had the
experience that learners of German language often mix
the order of compound words, and that might result in funny
things or total misunderstandings. Just a short example
does not mean anything
The Faulpelz is above all
a Pelz (fur)
and this Pelz is faul
(lazy). Meaning, that
this fur is lazy, in figurative meaning this person is