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Sunday, 18 April 2021

Introduction to English Collocations

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What is Collocation?

You shouldn't judge anyone by/on their grammar alone.

The purpose of the Vocabulary Tests is to make the learners realise that grammar is not the only criterion based on which the correctness of language usage is judged. A grammatically correct sentence can be considered incorrect in terms of collocation. The word, "collocation", refers to lexical co-occurrence in a language. Let me give you an example.

A synonym for "strong" is "powerful". However, it does not mean you can replace the adjective, "strong", with its aforementioned synonym in the following sentence.

a. This coffee is too strong for me.

b. This coffee is too powerful for me.

Some words have natural companion words. In the preceding example, the words, "coffee" and "strong", are companion words. They make a perfect combination.

Collocation is the way these combinations ensure that we produce natural speech and writing in a language. Thus, it would assuredly sound odd if one replaces the adjective, "powerful", with its synonym, "strong", in the following sentence.

c. Her speech about cruelty to children was very powerful.

d. Her speech about cruelty to children was very strong.

Just have a look at the following examples.

1. It went as planned.

a. It happened went as planned.

b. It occurred went as planned.

c. It took place went as planned.

2. Shopkeepers voiced their outrage at the new schemes.

a. Shopkeepers stated voiced their outrage at the new schemes.

b. Shopkeepers said voiced their outrage at the new schemes.

c. Shopkeepers spoke voiced their outrage at the new schemes.

3. The paragraphs are not in a logical order.

a. The paragraphs are not in a rational logical order.

b. The paragraphs are not in a thoughtful logical order.

4. She read an interesting piece of information in the newspaper.

a. She read an interesting slice piece of information in the newspaper.

b. She read an interesting part piece of information in the newspaper.

5. I could only overhear snatches of their conversation.

a. I could only overhear excerpts snatches of their conversation.

b. I could only overhear snippets snatches of their conversation.

© RB

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