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A collocation (/ˌkɒləˈkeɪʃən/) is a combination of words which frequently occur close together, though not necessarily sequentially or in the same order.

They differ from set phrases in that set phrases are more rigid in form, cannot readily change their word order and refer to a single concept.

When teaching new vocabulary in English it is important to also talk about the possible collocations the word may have. It is also good practice to ask the students to try to memorise one or two collocations. The use of such collocations makes students more fluent and makes remembering the words easier.

A collocations dictionary provides collocations.

Examples[edit | edit source]

adjective + noun[edit | edit source]

  • far-reaching consequences
  • a foregone conclusion
  • a golden opportunity
  • a hasty decision
  • a knee-jerk reaction
  • a moot point
  • a narrow outlook
  • the overall picture
  • a positive attitude
  • a rough guess
  • a slight misunderstanding

adverb + adjective[edit | edit source]

  • awfully sorry
  • highly unlikely
  • quite difficult/hungry/interesting
  • really great

verb + noun[edit | edit source]

  • bear in mind
  • broach the matter/subject
  • clinch the deal
  • express an opinion
  • face the facts
  • hold a meeting
  • jump to conclusions
  • make a deal
  • offer/reach/reject a compromise
  • play a role
  • rule out the possibility
  • take steps
  • weigh the options

References[edit | edit source]