Monday, February 11, 2019

Using Collocations to Learn English

What are collocations in English?


Collocation is words that are used regularly with a specific word.  For example, three collocation words for the word 'friend' are 'best, 'good,' and 'loyal.'  Here are some example sentences:

"She talks to her best friend every day." 
(best) 

"He lives with some good friends."
(good, close) 
* The word 'close' is another collocation that can be used in the place of 'good' such as "He lives with some close friends."

"She has been a loyal friend for many years." 
(loyal, real, trusted, true, faithful) 
* All the words in the parenthesis can be used in the place of 'loyal.'  These are other examples of collocations for the word 'friend.'

Why is it important to study English collocation?


When we learn vocabulary, we might understand the meaning of the word using a dictionary, but many times, we do not know how to use the word in a sentence.

How do I use that word? What are example sentences with that word? These are all common questions when we study vocabulary.

The best way to learn vocabulary is to learn what words are commonly used with the word in an example sentence.

How do I study English collocations?


It doesn't make much sense to pick up a dictionary and study all the words there.  Similarly, it doesn't make sense to pick up a collocation dictionary to study all the words.  The best way is to find the most frequently used words in the English language and study the most frequently used collocations with those words.  

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Word of the Month

Holy

(adj): Sacred, divine, blessed.


Holiday: a holy or festive day; a day off, vacation (also sacred)


Expressions: Holy Cow! Literally true in India.

Ex: Holly Mackerel! Delicious, healthy and full of mercury.

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