Bird of prey and other “noun of noun” constructions

bird of prey noun phrasesSubjects formed with multiple nouns connected by of can mean consisting of, or taken from, for example ‘piece of cake’, but can also mean belonging to, or with the purpose of, such as ‘father of the bride’. ‘Bird of prey’ can be confusing, though, because it seems to have the opposite meaning – bird of prey may sound like it belongs to prey, but actually it is a predator. So how do these different examples work? Continue reading

Understanding how to fit “answer” and “answer to” into sentences

answer to or answerThe word answer is often joined by the preposition to, usually connecting it to a noun (something that requires answering). However, answer can be both a verb and a noun, and they are naturally used differently when forming sentences. So, what are some simple guidelines for fitting answer into a sentence, with or without to? Continue reading