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I am practicing for my FCE exam and I have found this expression in the "use of english" part. According to the book, the right answer is go out of fashion but I can´t understand the difference between them. I would appreciate that someone clear my ideas. Thank you all

Although expensevely decorated tables remained popular into 19th century, the idea then went out of ............ and was largely forgotten.

The options are: a) fashion b) custom c) habit d) trend

  • Fashion and trend are synonyms en.oxforddictionaries.com/thesaurus/trend you got to include some context – RubioRic May 23 '18 at 19:57
  • Well done. I think that you've got a pair of typos. (1) "right answer is get out" should be "right answer is go out of fashion" and (2) "then wen out" should be "then went out". – RubioRic May 23 '18 at 20:41
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    As a native English speaker, "Went out of fashion" is a phrase I have heard while "Went out of trend" is not. I can't give a good reason, but I do agree with the book about which one is the correct answer. – Kamil Drakari May 23 '18 at 20:42
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    This exam question isn't about rules of grammar, it's about a common expression. From a syntactic point of view, out of fashion is the same construction as out of trend. (It is a fashion, it is a trend . . .) However, for whatever reason of social adoption, only out of fashion is actually used. – Jason Bassford May 23 '18 at 23:46
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I've been thinking about this question for a while ... Let me compile my thoughts and the comments offered by native English speakers.

According to Cambridge Dictionary

fashion

a style that is popular at a particular time, especially in clothes, hair, make-up, etc.

trend

a new development in clothing, make-up, etc.:

and

on trend: fashionable


According to Oxford Thesaurus

trend

SYNONYMS

fashion, vogue, style, mode, craze, mania, rage


According to The Free Dictionary

go out of fashion and go out of style

to become unfashionable; to become obsolete


So gramatically and semantically, it may be correct to infer that you can use go out of fashion and go out of trend indistinctly. But the second one is not used.

Let me establish a paralelism with the Spanish language. We've got two words: moda (fashion) and tendencia (trend) whose meanings are equivalent to the English ones.

We say that algo ha pasado de moda (something has went out of fashion) but we don't say that algo ha pasado de tendencia (something has went out of trend).

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Fashion is the only word of all the options that collocates with "went out of ____". (This comes from my experience as a native speaker, and it's backed up by a quick search of the Corpus of Contemporary American English for went out of *.)

You can find "out of fashion" in plenty of dictionaries. It has two meanings, with the relevant one here being #2:

  1. of clothing : no longer generally worn by people • Those ruffled blouses went out of fashion years ago.

  2. of a style of something, a way of behaving, etc. : no longer generally liked by people : unpopular • Her theories have fallen out of fashion.

Merriam Webster

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