Time speeds / travels / rides / moves. Time speeds / travels / rides / moves. ( = they don’t collocate) Time flies / goes by / wears on / passes. ( = they collocate) We can talk about an academic year. (but not a studying year) Discussions can be productive or fruitful. (but not prolific) FIXED COLLOCATIONS I had to go on a crash course to learn Spanish. The children arrived safe and sound. My boss usually arrives at 8 o’clock on the dot. I’ll be back in a flash. She was back in a flash or: She was back (as) quick as a flash. I want you back here on the precise dot of eleven. Will they honour their election pledges? OPEN COLLOCATIONS We can talk about a fragile peace, or an uneasy peace. (but not a tender peace, an unsteady peace, a weak peace) GRAMMATICAL FORMS
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adjective + noun: adverb + adjective: noun + noun: verb + noun: dependent preposition: part of a longer phrase:

I remember my formative years. I’m hopelessly addicted to chocolate. The government have just unveiled their policy review. We will honour our pledge to reduce unemployment. Personally, I think they should be ashamed of themselves. It’s always interesting to delve into the past.

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