Collocation is a group of words that usually go together.
For example, in English, we usually say “heavy rain”. It’s correct grammatically to say “strong rain” or “big rain”, but both of these sound completely strange. A native English speaker would never say “big rain”. If you use the normal collocation (“heavy rain”) your English will sound a lot better and more natural and it will be easier for native speakers to understand you.
Collocations are very important. It is very difficult to give a list of collocations, because there are so many. In fact, almost every word in English has other words that it usually goes with.
Set phrases, verb patterns, and idioms are really just strong examples of collocations too. For example, in English, we say “get married to someone”. Many languages use “with” after “marry” (which certainly seems logical). But this isn’t normal way in English. If you learn the whole phrase (“get married to someone”), then you won’t make this mistake.
Complete each sentence by choosing the word that collocates with the word in CAPITALS.
1. Aren’t you a … OLD to be wearing that?
Correct Answer – a) bit
2. She was given a … OPPORTUNITY to travel.
Correct Answer – c) unique
3. Their kitchen had just been installed – it was … NEW.
Correct Answer – c) brand
4. He tried to pass his exams but … SUCCESS.
Correct Answer – b) without
5. Come on – it’s … the EFFORT.
Correct Answer – a) worth
6. She’s very analytical and can … PROBLEMS quickly.
Correct Answer – c) solve
7. The men were acquitted and SET … .
Correct Answer – a) free
8. If you … a CRIME, you will be punished.
Correct Answer – a) commit
9. The company … its HOPES on getting new orders.
Correct Answer – b) pinned
10. As the sun rose, the island … into VIEW.
Correct Answer – b) came
11. We are not satisfied and will PURSUE the … further.
Correct Answer – c) matter
12. The politician’s speech got a MIXED … .
Correct Answer – a) reaction
13. I thought that information was … KNOWLEDGE.
Correct Answer – a) common
14. He was completely ABSORBED … his book.
Correct Answer – b) in
15. I’m BORED … tidying up.
Correct Answer – c) with
16. “Is he coming?” “I BELIEVE …”.
Correct Answer – a) so
17. The hotel has … to RECOMMEND it – it’s terrible!
Correct Answer – c) little
18. Nowadays we live with very high NOISE … .
Correct Answer – a) levels
19. I … NEED a new car.
Correct Answer – b) badly
20. He should … the BLAME for the delay.
Correct Answer – a) take
21. Their business plan makes sense – I think they’re a … RISK.
Correct Answer – a) good
22. The war had a DAMAGING … on the economy.
Correct Answer – a) effect
23. The Canary Islands get sunshine all YEAR … .
Correct Answer – b) round
24. You must do your best to … out of TROUBLE.
Correct Answer – a) keep
25. My response varies … on the SITUATION.
Correct Answer – a) depending
26. I was … AMAZED when he got the job!
Correct Answer – b) absolutely
27. We’re trying to … MONEY for the local hospital.
Correct Answer – c) raise
28. We all WISH you … in your new career.
Correct Answer – a) well
29. I don’t know what the FUTURE … for us.
Correct Answer – b) holds
30. Do you mind if I … a SUGGESTION?
Correct Answer – b) make
31.The task …the students OCCUPIED or hours.
Correct Answer – b) kept
32. Are you lost? Would you like me to …you the WAY?
Correct Answer – c) show
33. People tell so many different stories , it’s hard to get a TRUE …
Correct Answer – c) picture
34. The boss was very dismissive and TREATED his suggestion…
Correct Answer – a) with
35. He has made a …DEAL of money.
Correct Answer – c) great
36. She has made herself ill with ANXIETY … her exam.
Correct Answer – b) about
37. Do you mind if I …a QUESTION at this stage?
Correct Answer – b) raise
38. Can you EXPLAIN …you got there?
Correct Answer – c) how
39. I think it shows …JUDGEMENT to invest in training.
Correct Answer – c) sound
40. If I give you the camera , make sure you …it to good USE.
Correct Answer – a) put
41. She doesn’t ….any INTEREST in her job.
Correct Answer – c) show
42. I’m …DISAPPOINTED with such poor results.
Correct Answer – b) bitterly
43. It was a wonderful holiday –we …an excellent TIME.
Correct Answer – c) had
44. Don’t panic –you must …CALM.
Correct Answer – b) keep
45. They have …a lot of CHANGES to the way they live.
Correct Answer – c) made
46. If you have made a mistake ,you must …MATTERS right.
Correct Answer – a) put
47. That information should be published because it is in the PUBLIC ….
Correct Answer – b) interest
48. We examined the body for … of LIFE.
Correct Answer – b) signs
49. It was the first thing that …into my MIND.
Correct Answer – a) come
50. You need to …yourself a GOAL.
Correct Answer – a) set
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