Collocations

What is a collocation?
A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These
combinations just sound "right" to native English speakers, who
use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations
may be unnatural and just sound "wrong". Look at these
examples:
Natural English...Unnatural English...the fast train
fast foodthe quick train
quick fooda quick shower
a quick meala fast shower
a fast mealWhy learn collocations?

Your language will be more natural and more easily
understood.

You will have alternative and richer ways of expressing
yourself.

It is easier for our brains to remember and use language in
chunks or blocks rather than as single words.

How to learn collocations

Be aware of collocations, and try to recognize them when
you see or hear them.

 Revise what you learn regularly. Practise using new collocations in context as soon as possible after learning them.  Learn collocations in groups that work for you. not strongly + support. family) or by a particular word (take action. money. remember vividly). adjective etc. Types of CollocationThere are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb.remember distinctly. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally. And you can also find specialized dictionaries of collocations. noun. remember vaguely.  Read as much as possible. and learn strongly support. Treat collocations as single blocks of language. weather. You could learn them by topic (time. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks. take an exam).  When you learn a new word.  You can find information on collocations in any good learner's dictionary. Some of the most common types are:  Adverb + Adjective: completely satisfied (NOT downright satisfied)  Adjective + Noun: excruciating pain (NOT excruciating joy) . write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightly. take a chance. number.

and anyone who confronts a fixed expression for the first time. fixed expressions typically offer neither folk wisdom nor an image. Others. yet effective. It’s a phrase that has a very specific meaning that can’t be expressed any other way and also can’t be deduced just by considering the sum of its parts. while the idiom’s meaning is that two people working on a problem have a better chance of solving it than just a single thinker. non-native English speakers. visual idea of one body that operates with two heads. fire” are used so often that the opportunity to turn them into a joke creates another fixed expression. Some fixed expressions. aim. Fixed expressions are more often a collection of . such as “before you know it” or “to tell you the truth” have been around for so long that they function almost as a single word. Unlike idioms. A fixed expression is a little like a secret code that allows access to a club that not everyone can enter. like “ready. they can be baffling. “Two heads are better than one” creates a bizarre. Noun + Noun: a surge of anger (NOT a rush of anger)  Noun + Verb: lions roar (NOT lions shout)  Verb + Noun: commit suicide (NOT undertake suicide)  Verb + Expression With Preposition: burst into tears (NOT blow up in tears)  Verb + Adverb: wave frantically (NOT wave feverishly) Fixed expressions To children.

At least. Idioms An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the . which is simply another way of saying “suddenly.” For example: To be in no mood for jokes. it is only the final word in this expression that contributes meaning to the fixed expression. For the first time. “Of a” is really just a grammatical phrase with no internal meaning of its own. “All” means a totality. On the other hand Just in case. “All of a sudden” is a perfect example. To not be so important. for that reason. Apparently. Just so you know. To top it all off. a location or moment in time in which everything is included. Of course. “Sudden” refers to something completely unexpected.words with individual meaning that really have nothing to do with one another. Therefore.

Click To Tweet Collocation refers to the way in which some words regularly occur together. which can make idioms hard for ESL students and learners to understand. For example:  Do homework  Make the bed . fixed expressions and idioms all relate to the combination of words. Collocation refers to the way in which some words regularly occur together.782 English idiomatic expressions with definitions. For example: Fight like Kilkenny cats Jump off the page Like collecting frogs in a bucket Leading edge when the pigs fly! Not for nothing Bleed dry Let the dust settle Take root It takes all kinds to make a world Bring home Brush with death Collocations.dictionary definitions of the individual words. Here. we provide a dictionary of 3.

For example:  You say heavy smoker but you would never say strong smoker and you say a powerful car not a strong car. A golden opportunity  Take a risk  A faint smell There are no rules on how these collocations are formed.  We have a blazing row. not a burning row and have a heated argument. we would never say Tom is high. There are different types of collocations: Adjective-noun:  Stale bread  Rotten apples  Regular exercise  Weak tea  Bright light Check out The 5 most common adjective-noun collocations .  We take a quick shower. they simply ‘sound right’ to the native speaker. we say Tom is tall. not a fast shower and eat fast food. not quick food. not a hot argument.  Referring to height.

Noun + verb:  Cats purr  Fire burns  Snow falls  Wind blows  Kettle sings Verb + noun:  Give a presentation  Do homework  Take a shower  Commit murder  Make a complaint Check out The most common collocations with Do Adverb + adjective:  Fully aware  Completely satisfied  Utterly appalled  Terribly disappointed  Absolutely exhausted .

com/ A fixed expression is the standard way of expressing a concept or an idea.Noun + noun:  Liquor licence  Milk chocolate  Round of applause  Bar of soap  Fire safety Verb + adverb / Adverb + verb:  Finely chopped  Rely heavily  Rain heavily  Whisper softly  Flatly refuse Check out these links for more collocations: Collocations with TRAFFIC Collocations with PRIDE Collocations with FRIEND An excellent online collocation dictionary can be found here: http://oxforddictionary. .so8848.

Examples include:  A can of worms (a complicated problem)  A chip of the old block (a child with similar characteristics to one of their parents)  To be out for the count (to be sleeping peacefully)  Rub someone the wrong way (annoy or bother someone)  Pull someone’s leg (tease someone by trying to make them believe something that is not true) .Click To Tweet A fixed expression is a form of expression that has taken on a more specific meaning than the words themselves. Examples include:  Pleased to meet you  All of a sudden  On the other hand  More trouble than it’s worth  Neither here nor there An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but… Click To Tweet An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own. it is something we ordinarily say in certain situations. It is the standard way of expressing a concept or an idea.

Check out this excellent link for lots of different examples of idioms: English Idioms .