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ALL ABOUT SEMANTICS
 HOME
 SEMANTICS
 UTTERANCES SENTENCES AND PROPOSITIONS
 PARTS OF SPEECH
 SPEAKER MEANING AND SENTENCE MEANING
 COMPONENTS OF LANGUAGE
 LINGUISTICS
 COLLOCATIONS, FIXED EXPRESSIONS AND IDIOMS
 AMBIGUITY
 METAPHOR, SIMILE, SYMBOL
 POLYSEMY AND HOMONYMY
 HOMOPHONES AND HOMOGRAPHS
 SYNONYMS ANTONYMS AND HYPONYMS
 SEMANTICS CHANGE AND ETHIMOLOGY
 IDIOMS (CONVENTIONAL TYPES)
 IDIOMS
 PROVERBS
 CONVERSATIONAL RESPONSES

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.

remember vaguely. “All of a sudden” is a perfect example. And you can also find specialized dictionaries of collocations. “All” means a totality.  Learn collocations in groups that work for you. family) or by a particular word (take action. a location or moment in time in which everything is included. they can be baffling. take a chance. Others. not strongly + support. Types of CollocationThere are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb. write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightly. “Two heads are better than one” creates a bizarre. 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. like “ready. and learn strongly support. Fixed expressions are more often a collection of words with individual meaning that really have nothing to do with one another. number. it is only the final word in this . adjective etc. visual idea of one body that operates with two heads. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks. remember vividly). “Sudden” refers to something completely unexpected. You could learn them by topic (time. fire” are used so often that the opportunity to turn them into a joke creates another fixed expression. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally. yet effective. money. Some fixed expressions. take an exam). aim. “Of a” is really just a grammatical phrase with no internal meaning of its own. 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. noun.  Revise what you learn regularly.  You can find information on collocations in any good learner's dictionary. Unlike idioms. non-native English speakers.remember distinctly.  Read as much as possible. Treat collocations as single blocks of language. fixed expressions typically offer neither folk wisdom nor an image.  When you learn a new word. and anyone who confronts a fixed expression for the first time. Practise using new collocations in context as soon as possible after learning them. A fixed expression is a little like a secret code that allows access to a club that not everyone can enter. 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. Some of the most common types are:  Adverb + Adjective: completely satisfied (NOT downright satisfied)  Adjective + Noun: excruciating pain (NOT excruciating joy)  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. weather.

IDIOMS An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. Just so you know. 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 . To not be so important. which can make idioms hard for ESL students and learners to understand. At least.expression that contributes meaning to the fixed expression. Therefore. On the other hand Just in case.782 English idiomatic expressions with definitions.” For example: To be in no mood for jokes. To top it all off. for that reason. Of course. For the first time. Apparently. which is simply another way of saying “suddenly. Here. we provide a dictionary of 3.