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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1answer
32 views

reference of object of “graduate from”

Can the object of "graduate from" be "the department of history," for example? Does it have to be "university" or "college"? I'd appreciate your help.
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47 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?
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4k views

raise attention?

Is the following use of "raise attention from" natural? How does it differ from "raise the attention of"? The client's unfortunate experience, which has raised attention from our IT experts, points ...
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1answer
31 views

a voucher for a front row seat?

Does it make sense to say "a voucher for a front row seat," meaning a free ticket for a front row seat at a performance? I'd appreciate your help.
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29 views

Conjure up or Appear

I am looking for a word that can be used in the following contexts. Example 1: Person A: I moved to a new house since I began to work at a new company. However, my old house had also a ...
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3answers
912 views

What is the best verb for “undertaking an IPO”?

There are many verbs to use here that I thought of as follows: A company has an IPO conducts an IPO undertakes an IPO offers an IPO (redundant?) does an IPO initiates an IPO (sounds like it might ...
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368 views

What does collocate with “love” here?

According to one of the exercises in collocation in use, it says " strongly love", is not a correct collocation. Then what word suits the purpose? [Note; love functions as a verb here]. Deeply ...
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1answer
46 views

signal to stop VS. signal sb to stop

Is the following use of signal to stop natural? John pulled over to the side of the road when he saw a policeman signaling to stop. If it's natural, what does it mean and how does it differ from "...
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53 views

The word “stuff”: possible combinations of words

Good/great/lovely stuff! These are collocations used for praising something. Can the combination of words "nice stuff" be used along with them?
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766 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. ...
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2k views

Standards slip?

Please explain the meaning of the words in bold people feel educational standards slipped when the goverment cut finances. It's one of collocations I've learned but I can't see it in some ...
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67 views

Is it true that “bad/good guys” always requires a definite article before itself? If yes, why?

Because I've never heard this collocation without a definite article. For instance: "You look just like one of the bad guys" or "Damn you, I thought you were the good guys!" And in both given examples ...
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28 views

How can you determine which side of an interview you are on?

If you say "I will have an interview with Bob", it does not say whether the interviewer is you or Bob. How can you state that?
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180 views

Is “come down” or “fall down” some steps transitive?

Who can tell me why "came down some steps" looks to me as it acts like a transitive verb? And is "some steps" an object of the verb come down? Examples: I came down some steps into the corridor. ...
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0answers
101 views

Competition can be raised

Competition can be raised. I want to say a sense of competition should be encouraged in children but I'm not sure if "competition" can be used with "raised". Is it correct? It is not just a matter ...
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3answers
187 views

The unclear expression “cow dissent”

Today I've come across an expression in a magazine article which is not quite clear to me: Today, amid confected rows about "fake news", reporters who unearthed a new Watergate would start with ...
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2answers
857 views

Is “spent more expenditure” correct in this sentence?

People spent more expenditure on utility bills. Is this sentence correct? We spend money on something, but do we "spend expenditure"? Is it better to change this to "Expenditure/spending on ...
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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 ...
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0answers
60 views

Any tool to highlight collocations [closed]

It is believed that learning collocations is an effective way to enhance fluency. I wonder if there are any tools that, when provided with a text, can highlight its collocations? It would be great if ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the difference between “a lot of friends” and “lots of friends”?

I am wondering whether there are differences in meanings between following two expressions. I used to have a lot of friends 5 years ago. I used to have lots of friends 5 years ago. As a non-...
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1k views

What is the meaning of “…drunk on sensations”

we were almost drunk on sensations. I couldn't find any translation for this phrase drunk on sensations.
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1answer
78 views

what kind/sort of music do

All the dictionaries I have checked give what sort of music ... and none mentioned what kind of music. That was under the head word music. On the other hand, COCA (118 and 10 hits for kind and sort ...
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1answer
92 views

What's the difference between “5 parts to the examination” and “5 parts of the examination”?

I came across a sentence, There are five parts to the examination. I at first didn't take much notice of the preposition "of". But now I wonder if "five parts to the examination" is different from ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
283 views

Team players can cause success in their group

Someone brought this sentence to me as her topic sentence for a paragraph: "Team players can cause success in their group." The moment I read it, I thought there's something unnatural about it. Then I ...
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1answer
72 views

collocations of “furnished”

I am preparing for CAE exam .I am doing this exercise of Multiple choice-cloze CAE part 1. This is the text: "The accomodation is nearby located in the hearth of the suburb within easy walking ...
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1answer
935 views

Is it right to say “on the drive”?

As we know we have these kinds of trip: bus trip flight cruise which we could use the preposition "on" for each one. For example: What did you do on the cruise? Did you have good time on the ...
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2answers
609 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?
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1answer
638 views

Why can you “put on clothes” but can't “take them on” and “take them off” but can't “put them off”?

I thought since you can "put on clothes" you can "put them off" too but apparently no one says that so it must be wrong whereas you can "take them off" but not "take them on". Ngram Is there an ...
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1answer
143 views

The preposition “to” at the end

I'm an English learner. While I was reading a novel, one question that I never tried to resolved appeared and then I decided that time for a resolution was indispensable. Which phrase is correct: "...
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103 views

“To give an idea”: Different meanings

Can the collocation "to give an idea" be used in the sense of "to make a suggestion (that's worth considering)"? (For example: He gave me a million-dollar idea.)
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4answers
715 views

“To go in for sport” or just “to do sport”?

At school I was taught that the collocation "to go in for sport" should be used when speaking about doing sport (e.g. to go in for karate). Is it widely-used nowadays?
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1k views

Is the phrase “solve the math question” incorrect?

I'm told by an English teacher not to use a verb, "solve", when a noun like "a question [or questions]" follows the verb. However, I see "solve" used with "questions" in ODE or on the Internet. He ...
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1answer
1k views

Fall down or fall out

Is it correct to say "He fell down from the tree" or we have to use fell out ?. Maybe these two forms are possible? Please explain me :)) thank You.
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2answers
66 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.
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1answer
97 views

What is a detox wing?

I had been reading thisarticle from a BBC podcast and they are referring to a detox wing. It's not clear what "a detox wing" is? I have some ideas in mind but I would like to be sure about it.
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2answers
3k 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"?
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2answers
567 views

Is this grammatically correct? (wearing a demeanor)

Can you say about someone that he wears his demeanor? This is the specific sentence: "I was wearing my usual peevish demeanor"
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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?
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2answers
266 views

Is “to lodge a complaint” a collocation or phrasal verb?

Is the expression "to lodge a complaint" a collocation or phrasal verb? I think it is a phrasal verb .
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1answer
511 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 ...
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2answers
167 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"...
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2answers
11k 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 ...
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3answers
592 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 ...
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2answers
134 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 ...
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1answer
786 views

Sins are made/done?

I'm trying to find a right word to use. Are sins made or done, maybe created? I know that I can say: 'he sinned' but i want to have the noun. He (made) a sin when he killed that woman. Please help.
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1answer
110 views

Can I use 'with' with 'help'?

Can I use with with help? For example: What does your sister always help you with? Is it correct? (my English teacher said it was wrong)
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2answers
252 views

“The largest crime” or “The biggest crime”

English is not my first language, so sorry about my grammar. My question is which phrase is more proper? Theft is the largest crime in America. or Theft is the biggest crime in America....
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120 views

Collocations for “level” to describe the seriousness of something

Consider: These days, Tehran's air pollution is at a risk level. What are different levels of the seriousness of something? For example can we say "warning level"?