Questions tagged [collocations]

A sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance (i.e., the statistically significant placement of particular words in a language).

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Should I say automatic memories or automatic tasks?

Here is a paragraph explaining Procedural Memory (from the TOEFL exam) The memories people form when they learn names and facts are different from the memories they form when they learn how to ...
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Is "It is happy to hear that." (meaning the speaker is happy to hear that) grammatical and idiomatic?

Some native speakers of English around me think the following are not good, while some others find them to be OK. It is happy to hear that. (meaning "I (the speaker) am happy to hear that."...
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1 answer
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What prepositions should I use with "want" in the following sentences?

I just cannot decide whether to use "for" or "in" in the following examples. We want two engineers (for / in) the project. We want two violin players (for / in) the show. ...
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7 votes
6 answers
3k views

Why can't we say "win a world record"?

In Unit 3, lesson A of Perspectives 3 published by Nat Geo Learning, it is stated that we can't use "win" with "world record" and I can't find any explanation about that so please ...
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1 answer
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Listen to the/a class

Can we say, “listen to the/a class,” to mean “listen to what the teacher teaches or says in class”? For example, can we say something like, “All good students listen to the class properly”? Or can a ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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“Star Wars video game” VS “Video game of Star Wars”

Can we say, “video game of Star Wars,” “book of Star Wars,” “movie of Star Wars” etc. instead of “Star Wars video game,” “Star Wars book,” “Star Wars movie” etc? For example, can we say these ...
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used to AND sometimes

This is from Animal Farm: "Jones used sometimes to mix some of it in our mash," said one of the hens. Used to means that something happened continuously or frequently during a period in ...
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page by page Vs. page after page

I am wondering which option I should chose to convey that I turn the pages of my book while reading one by one. I read my book ... page by page or page after page? Any help would be highly appreciated....
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'at high risk from the virus' and 'at high-risk for COVID-19'

This is an excerpt from a PBS news article. The U.S. moved a step closer Wednesday to offering booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to senior citizens and others at high risk from the virus as ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Which one is a good collocation? "handmade merchandise" or "handmade goods"?

Which one is natural? I am talking about those kind of handmade products which visitors usually buy as souvenirs. Tourists buy handmade goods from local craft fairs. Tourists buy handmade merchandise ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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enter (into) society

Let's examine this context: Part-time jobs can help students develop real-world skills that will come in handy when they graduate and enter into society. I thought when students are in school, they ...
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1 answer
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We need to boost concentration and attention skills

I find "concentration and attention skills" weird because I suspect they are not skills. I would instead write: We need to practice concentration and increase our attention span. What do ...
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2 answers
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I cannot support these extra expenses

Do you think "support" is weird here? I would write: I cannot bear/cover/meet/afford these extra expenses. bear/cover/meet/afford expenses are collocations, while support expenses is not a ...
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0 answers
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<Live by one's age> VS <Live based on one's age> VS <Live according to one's age>

Can we use the phrases "Live by one's age", "Live based on one's age" and "Live according to one's age" interchangeably to mean living in a way that represents your age? ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it correct and natural to say "be at the delivery" meaning to arrive at the delivery point? [closed]

Would you tell me if it is correct and natural to say be at the delivery meaning to arrive at the delivery point? For example: The driver is already at the delivery, so we can go unload the truck. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
32 views

Is it correct and natural to say "hire someone into the sales department"?

Could you tell me if it's correct and natural to say hire someone into the sales department? For example: Kate has been hired into the sales department for her ability to connect with people. If it ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is "strict limitation" a good collocation?

Is it correct to say "strict limitation"? Governments should levy strict limitations on the tools of trade to deter the dirty business of drugs.
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<A good appetite> and <a good metabolism> VS <good appetite> and <good metabolism>

Dictionaries say both "appetite" and "metabolism" are variable nouns. Do you think we can say these sentences interchangeably? I have a good appetite. I have good appetite. And ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can we say somebody is "on a walk" if they went for a walk?

Let's say somebody is walking for some time, or he/she went for a walk. Can that person say he/she is "on a walk"? Or can we say that about him/her? Example sentence: Let's say I went ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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words around the verb "record"

Teachers will record a play performed by students, make DVDs, and give them to the students. Can I say Teachers are planning to record the show and make a DVD to give copies of it to us. or ...
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maximize common ground or expand common ground as widely as possible

"maximize common ground" or "expand common ground as widely as possible" Which one is more proper? I looked up "maximize" in dictionaries. It says that the word is ...
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1 answer
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Someone else's (perspective / point of view)

Someone can think this is a legal issue that just has to be solved. But it might look different ................... a. from someone else's point of view. b. from the point of view of someone else. ...
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From (every / any / all) angles

Could anyone possibly let me know which collocation below sounds better in English? Apparently, you have decided to cooperate with them! Your manager don't seem to be a reliable person. Well, even ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to use "make" and "form" with "impression"?

What's the difference between these sentences? Make a good first impression on X. Form a good first impression on X. How does the meaning change if we use of instead of on?
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1 answer
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Calling the roll: marking someone (as) absent

I am wondering what is the proper choice in the following examples: Example 1: I missed the previous session. So the teacher.......... a. marked me absent b. marked me as absent Example 2: ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Is it wrong to say "feel pleasure"? [closed]

I know we can use the collocation feel satisfaction. You can find it in the list of collocations in the link. My question is: Is "feel pleasure" a collocation we can use? I looked at the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can we say "do an action"?

When we use "action" as an uncountable noun, the collocation is "take action" or "go into action." How about when we use it as a countable noun? Do you think it is okay ...
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(a) cause of/for concern

I'm wondering if all the following sentences are okay. I'm sure about the correctness of d, but not about the others. a. Air pollution is a major cause of concern. b. Air pollution is a major cause ...
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0 answers
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Change the language of a website to/into English

Let's say I am looking at a website with a friend. The website is shown in a language other than English. Can I say these two sentences interchangeably to my friend if I want him to select "...
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-2 votes
2 answers
51 views

“One’s favourite”: Why “one’s”? [closed]

Brooke Candy “FMU” is my favourite song. But it’s still Brooke’s song. Why can’t I call Brooke’s song which is my favourite “Brooke’s favourite song”? It’s sort of collocation that a possessive ...
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0 answers
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the scales of media coverage

Below is a sentence I wrote about Hillary's presidential bid in 2016. I am not sure if the construction "balance the scales of media coverage" works for you. But before that, please allow me ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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the usage of 'many', 'much', 'few', and 'little' as a pronoun

As far as I know, all the words can be used as a pronoun. 'many' and 'few' occur with countable nouns, while 'much' and 'little' with uncountable nouns. There are two confusing sentences, which I saw ...
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2 answers
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Do "significant" and "surge" collocate well?

Are the following sentences natural? Prices significantly surged. There has been a significant surge in prices. In google search I found 612000 results that seems enough to accept this as a valid ...
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1 vote
2 answers
30 views

Natural ways to mean someone is stalling another

Example: If a woman is asked to get married and tries to get time to answer because she feels insecure but doesn't want to say it. I could tell she's stalling the man. But if I wanted to sound more ...
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1 vote
1 answer
69 views

with urgency or urgently?

I believe my question refers to collocations and also to which is the most common way of saying that I will send a message alerting people that they have to solve a situation urgently. I've done some ...
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1 vote
1 answer
25 views

"He was swindled with the promise of..."

Let's say someone took someone's money or property promising them something in return, but they swindled them. What is the correct collocation to use with "swindle" if we want to say what ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Looking for "Call+ verb" structure, which doesn't have a real meaning of using any voice necessarily

Looking for a collocation or an idiom that contains the word 'Call', which doesn't have a real meaning of using voice necessarily (except for call on the phone) but metaphorical. Is there such ...
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2 votes
3 answers
307 views

Questions about 'smoothly'

Is there a difference between 'speak fluently' and 'speak smoothly' in meaning? Is it correct to use 'smoothly' to describe 'speak English' such as 'He speaks English smoothly' and 'He speaks ...
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0 votes
0 answers
29 views

usage question: punished his drug possession

Is the following use of "punished" natural? The court punished his drug possession.
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1 vote
0 answers
30 views

What do we do with a benchmark?

Considering the concept of a benchmark, in the sense of a single point of reference. What does one say, when, for example, a person has achieved a score that is higher than some benchmark score? I ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Is it correct and natural to say "your account is pulling up" meaning the computer is processing info to show it on the screen?

Could you tell me if it is correct and natural to say your account is pulling up meaning the computer is processing info to show it on the screen? For example: Sir, would you please hang on a bit. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
20 views

Is it correct and natural to say "put 10 dollars on your account in one payment"?

Could you tell me if it is correct and natural to say put 10 dollars on your account in one payment meaning to make the payment not in installments, but rather it's got to be one payment. For example:...
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0 votes
1 answer
15 views

Is it correct and natural to say "share one's mobile data with someone via one's hotspot"? [closed]

Could you tell me it is correct and natural to say share one's mobile data with someone via one's hotspot? For example: If you've run out of your data allowance, I can share my data with your via my ...
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1 vote
1 answer
39 views

Is it natural and correct to say "rig one's data expenditure" meaning to make it look like someone spends more than they really do?

Could you tell me if it is natural and correct to say rig one's data expenditure meaning to make it look like someone spends more than they really do? For example: The customer accuses the service ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
35 views

Is it correct and natural to say "the cell phone plan comes with roaming mobile data"?

Could you tell me if it's correct and natural to say the cell phone plan come with roaming mobile data mean you can use it access the internet without additional charges abroad? For example: If you ...
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0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Is it correct and natural to say "my tablet is an average price" meaning when it comes to price, it's average?

Could you tell me if it is correct and natural to say my tablet is an average price meaning when it comes to price, it's average? For example: Even though my tablet is an average price, it fulfills ...
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0 votes
1 answer
16 views

What verb naturally fits in discussing the phrase "crime wave"?

According to many, long sentences cannot tackle the sheer scale of the crime wave. Which one of the following sentences corresponds with "crime wave"? tackle fight manage stop As we fight ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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have 20% odds of Ving

I'd like to know if the following sentences are OK. Do they have the same meaning? a. Senior women have 20% odds of developing the disease. b. Senior women have 1/4 odds of developing the disease. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
38 views

Keep/maintain relationships

I've seen so many articles in the internet using keep your relationships..... I also tried to look-up maintain on my thesaurus and turned out two of the synonims are keep sth up and keep sth going. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Alternate ways to say if you want/if you want to/if you'd like

Alternate ways to say if you want/if you want to/if you'd like I'd really appreciate if any could help me out here.
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