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Collocations are conventional word combinations that sound natural to native English speakers. For example, we say a golden opportunity, but not a golden chance. Similarly, we say 'thanks a lot', but not 'thank you a lot'.
More examples are given below:
A burning desire (BUT NOT a blazing row)
Collocations are idiomatic in a way. It is easy to understand the meaning of collocations, but a foreign learner may find it difficult to produce them correctly.
A learner who uses wrong word combinations for an idea may still be understood, but he or she will not sound natural.
All languages have large numbers of collocations. Some English examples are given below:
have breakfast / have lunch / have supper
Americans usually say take a bath / shower / rest / swim / walk etc.
get washed / get dressed / get lost / get drowned
Go / come for a swim
take a break / take a chance / take a look / take a rest
break a leg / break a promise / break a record
catch a ball / catch a bus / catch a chill
keep a promise / keep a secret / keep an appointment
fall ill / fall asleep / fall in love
come true / come right
go astray / go bad / go bald / go bankrupt
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Last updated on May 24, 2008|
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