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Collocations: do you know what they mean?

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For the past few weeks, our EC English Language Centres blog has been covering a number topics to help you increase your vocabulary while studying English around the world. Today it’s time for a closer look at the group of words known as “Collocations”. Ready? Of course you are!

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What is a collocation?

You might have come across this word during an English class; a collocation is the combination of two or more words which just sound ‘right’ when used by native speakers. If you ask an English-speaker why they use those words together, there’s a good chance that they won’t know the answer! Let’s look at some examples to understand what a collocation is.


Tired of

tired of

What’s wrong with this sleepy sheep? Well, insomnia is a common sleep problem. People who have insomnia have trouble falling asleep at night. As a result, they get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep.

When you are tired of something, you are bored because something has been happening repeatedly for too long.

E.g. I’m so tired of doing the same thing every day. I need a change of pace.

Note: When a health problem has been recognised and named, usually by a doctor, it has been diagnosed.

E.g. The doctor diagnosed her with a bad case of chicken pox.

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of collocations in the English language. Here are some of the most common used with examples.




table 2Now that you know a bit more about collocations, you can review other topics like Homonyms, Homophones and Tongue Twisters,or you can take the next step and download for FREE our complete Vocabulary eBook, where you will finds all these topics, plenty of examples, exercises and much more!

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