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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).

26
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3answers
6k views

Why is New York often said with the word “City” in English?

Usually, while watching some videos/movies or reading books in English, I tend to see that people always adding the word "City" to New York(New York City). What's behind this stuff in English? I can ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Big garden is incorrect?

I answered wrong the following question: There is a nice house with a big/large garden. I chose big. Is it incorrect indeed?
18
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4answers
23k views

“I did a few mistakes” vs “I made a few mistakes”

What is the difference between: "I did a few mistakes." and, "I made a few mistakes." Are they the same or not? My question is about the collocation: Can I use "made" for the word ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why 'pale' yellow instead of 'light' yellow and what are the other colors used with 'pale'?

In LDOCE, 'light' is considered a synonym of 'pale' which means having more white in it than usual, and I also thought pale and light are interchangeable when it came to colors. I'm reading 'English ...
10
votes
1answer
733 views

Why are tantrums “thrown” and not “burst”?

Instead, a person with entitlement complex is similar to a small child who never learned that he or she is not the center of the universe. They throw tantrums when outsiders don’t meet their demands. ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

is it a rule to put “at” after “in”?

I am new to English language. I have seen many times when the word "in" is used to explain an area "at" is also used following it. For example: I am living in Tokyo at Koganey. He is staying in ...
6
votes
3answers
800 views

Can a person hit home?

I watched a movie with a couple of charaters and I couldn't really relate to any of them, except for one, because I felt such people with this type of personality can't exist; they are just too ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When should I use: me or to me?

Sometimes I am confused in the correct way of using me or to me. Example, answer me or answer to me; love me or love to me. Could you help me to differentiate each one?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“talk money” or “talk about money”

Let's talk money. It's from an American show: Friends(Season02 Episode03), Usually, I would say "Let's talk about money, but why did she omit the word "about"?
6
votes
2answers
39k views

Which is correct: “on foot” or “by foot”?

He went there on foot. Or He went there by foot. Which one is correct, and on what basis?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What does smooth mean here?

A non-native English speaker told me: Hope you are smooth in your plan. What does it mean? The only thing I found in Longman dictionary is: someone who is smooth is polite, confident, and ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Can we grow a habit?

What are verbs that we can use in a collocation with the noun habit? Particularly, Is using "to grow" correct as in the following example sentence? Is it standard English? When people can realize ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

I have a doubt v. I'm in doubt

I would like to check if my idea is correct. It sounds to me as if the first is when one has a question to be asked, while the second means the person is not sure. Here are two cases: In a classroom ...
5
votes
3answers
45k views

What is the difference between “go on” and “go for” vacation?

For example, I will go Mexico for vacation next month. Vs. I will go on vacation to Mexico next month. Is there any difference? If not, which one is more common In colloquial AmE?
5
votes
2answers
64 views

is it correct to say: “global warming is under way”

dealing with global warming, can I put out that "the global warming/ or global warming is under way?" Thanks for your answer.
5
votes
1answer
35k views

It's/I'm acting in your best interest/interests

The plural version is more common according to Google ngram. It is also used as an example in Cambridge's dictionary. It's in his interests to keep careful records However, I would like to know ...
4
votes
2answers
151 views

Can slaves be “unloaded” in a coast?

I have a problem with collocations. I need to say "Slaves were unloaded on these coasts", but I don't know if "unload" is the correct word for "slaves". Moreover, I'm not sure about the preposition. ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Where to use “by” and “through”

I’m not a native English speaker and I am confused with the usage of by and through. Can someone please explain to me their usage based on the example below? I have a referral code which I want to ...
4
votes
3answers
515 views

You earn money. You also steal or launder money. Do you also “grab” the money?

Literally as in the title. You earn money, right? You earn money by working. You can also steal money from a bank. So do you also "grab" money to mean that you steal money? Although collocation ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

Can I say 'I swam at the beach'?

I have come across the following sentence in New Round-Up 3 Pearson Education Limited 2010: I swam at the beach last weekend. I would have understood if it were 'at the seaside', but 'at the beach'...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Cut off with indirect object

As far as I understand, when a line of communication or supply is interrupted, it can be said like this: They cut off electricity yesterday. Is it correct? At least Google shows this collocation ...
4
votes
1answer
36k views

'upward trend' or 'increasing trend'

Should I use 'upward trend' or 'increasing trend' in this sentence? There has been an upward trend in expenditure over the last 36 year by 20-30%. There has also been the increasing trend in ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“if it/that were possible”

This is an excerpt using the expression 'if it were possible.' I would like to be able to use it in my composition in the future. But the rule that governs the use seems more than just a little ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Usage of "be a help, be of help, be (any, much,little) help, be of (any, much, little help)

I looked up the above-mentioned collocations in different dictionaries and still don't know how to use them properly. The question is not about the meaning "to be helpful", but when to use which.Can ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Is it OK to use “slowly” after “to edge”?

I came across a sentence Why does a car have to edge forward slowly when turning from a side street into a main street? The use of slowly made me look up the definition of edge as a verb in a ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Is “firsthand smoker/ first-hand smoker” standard English?

I was wondering if "firsthand smoker" or " first-hand smoker" is a standard formal English or I should use "active smoker". When I looked up "firsthand smoke", "first-hand smoke", "firsthand smoking"...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Difference between 'sympathy for' and 'sympathy at'

What is the difference between 'sympathy for' and 'sympathy at' in the following sentences: I felt a great deal of sympathy for his difficult position. She expressed her sympathy at our loss. ...
3
votes
1answer
31k views

Is “With which” correct?

I've been using "With which" many times but, days ago, an app corrected this structure. Then, what's grammatical or preferable? With which book should I start? or which book should i read ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Incorrect Collocation [closed]

Is this a collocation or an idiom? I found different answers online. To the best of my knowledge If we change one of the words, would it be considered incorrect collocation. For example: "Answer ...
3
votes
2answers
461 views

Could you fetch me my bag vs could you fetch me the bag?

Could you fetch me my bag? Could you fetch me the bag? Which one is correct? Is it okay to say ' me my' together?
3
votes
1answer
705 views

“Increasing/growing/enhancing the response time” — with the meaning of “making bigger”

I would like to say that some actions I take will make the "response time" bigger. In other words, the delay will be bigger. Some options came to my head, but I don't know which one I should use. ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

At / on / with / in a discounted price

I want to know if these sentences are correct: 1) Our school will order stationery for students at a discounted price. 2) You may purchase the books from our company’s designated book store with a ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

Which words require “go” and which “grow” as a linking verb?

Which words go with go and which with grow as a linking verb? bald impatient bad mad gray bored old blind calm Our teacher says that The linking verb go is used for colors ...
3
votes
3answers
239 views

Is there a rule which may indicate us when to use “BROAD” and when to use “WIDE”?

Could anybody tell me please if there is a rule which may indicate us when to use "BROAD" and when to use "WIDE? 1st example: I know it is correct to say "broad daylight" but is it wrong to say "...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

can slightly and too come together?

The hydrogen adsorption free energy on sulfided Mo edges for MoS2 (ΔGGH = 80 meV) is slightly too weak. is the phrase "slightly too weak" ok here? "Slightly" means 'to a small degree" while "too" ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

Can somebody ask this way: What's the story called?

My daughter was practicing writing sentences from some stories. When I read the sentence below and wondered about sliding into place, she shrugged her shoulders. Everyone slid into place I then ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Share Power Across Factions

I have a question about the phrase "share across" in this article: But what makes this so significant to China’s future -- and therefore global security -- is that the league has for decades ...
2
votes
7answers
200 views

The ground is going to fall apart/crumble

Let's say a heavy rain is going on: The torrential downpour has loud-banging sound because of thunder that is so intense the air waves from it seem to slam the ground, like it is going to fall ...
2
votes
1answer
334 views

How can I correctly form collocations such as 'cough trouble'?

I read a new collocation cough trouble which I could not found in any dictionary. How can I form a noun + noun collocation?
2
votes
3answers
47 views

Do you wash windows, or clean them, or both?

my main question is what is the correct verb to precede the noun "windows" to indicate removal of dirt, etc. The reason I ask is that despite being an English teacher I'm also Dutch, and sometimes I ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

May I call greetings between people who don't know each other well an “exchange of politeness”?

What can I call a situation when people don't know each other well, but just say hello to each other our of courtesy, so to speak? Can it be called exchange of politeness by analogy with exchange ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

collocation - write a diary?

Is "write a diary" natural English? Many teachers say it is incorrect, but the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English online gives the following collocation: keep/write a diary (=write ...
2
votes
2answers
486 views

Can we use “have” with “class” in this sense?

I know we can use "have" with "class" like: I have a class tomorrow morning. But can I use it like: This is not an appropriate room to have a class in it.
2
votes
1answer
412 views

Is that any expression in English for “not too sweet tea”?

Is that any expression in English for not too sweet tea? Here, we normally say it is as sweet as guava, which means the taste of tea is just half sweet, because the amount of sugar is reduced.
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Commit a crime/ commit murder

Why is crime proceeded by a, while murder is not? 1) Commit murder/rape/suicide/adultery On the other hand 2) commit a robbery/a crime/an offense Why do robbery, crime, and ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Is “unanimous consensus” correct phrase?

Is it OK to say: We can't reach a unanimous consensus on the issue. Does unanimous consensus make sense? I know from the dictionary that unanimous collocates with agreement but I didn't find ...
2
votes
3answers
538 views

Is “How did your job go?” grammatically correct?

And if it is correct, can someone explain to me the grammar. Like, is it present continuous or something (grammar isn't my strong suit).
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Handsome tips (if this can be used)

My question is, do you use: The regular customer in a restaurant had given the waiter a handsome tip before he left. Does the bold-letters collocate well?. (Handsome tip=big tip am I right)
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Break the news: different meanings

Is the news necessarily bad or upsetting when someone breaks the news? Can this expression just mean that someone tells somebody something new?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it correct to say “pastime activities”

When I looked up the word pastime, it is defined as "an activity for pleasure" by Cambridge Dictionaries. Therefore, it already include a meaning of "activity." Besides that, Longman Dictionaries ...