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Resources -> Improve English Vocabulary -> Collocations

Collocations

A collocation is a combination of words that are commonly used together; the simplest way of describing collocations is to say that they ‘just sound right’ to native English speakers. Other combinations that may mean the same thing would seem ‘ unnatural’. Collocations include noun phrases like ‘ stiff wind’ and‘weapons of mass destruction’, phrasal verbs such as‘to get together’ and other stock phrases such as‘the rich and famous’

It is important to learn collocations, because they are important for the naturalisation of one’s speech. Besides, they broaden one’s scope for expression.

Here is a list of collocations to help you get started:

Collocations starting with the verb ‘do’

Do me a favour
Do the cooking
Do the housework
Do the shopping
Do the washing up
Do your best
Do your hair

Collocations with the verb ‘have’

Have a good time

Have a bath
Have a drink
Have a haircut
Have a holiday
Have a problem
Have a relationship
Have lunch
Have sympathy

Collocations with the verb ‘break’

Break the law

Break a leg
Break a promise
Break a record
Break someone's heart
Break the ice
Break the news to someone
Break the rules

Collocations with the verb ‘take’

Take a break

Take a chance
Take a look
Take a rest
Take a seat
Take a taxi
Take an exam
Take notes
Take someone's place

Collocations with the verb ‘make’

Make a difference

Make a mess
Make a mistake
Make a noise
Make an effort
Make money
Make progress
Make room
Make trouble

Collocations with the verb ‘catch’

Catch the bus

Catch a ball
Catch a cold
Catch a thief
Catch fire
Catch sight of
Catch someone's attention
Catch someone's eye
Catch the flu

Collocations with the verb ‘pay’

Pay respect

Pay a fine
Pay attention
Pay by credit card
Pay cash
Pay interest
Pay someone a visit
Pay the bill
Pay the price

Collocations with the verb ‘keep’

Keep the change

Keep a promise
Keep a secret
Keep an appointment
Keep calm
Keep in touch
Keep quiet
Keep someone's place

Collocations with the verb ‘save’

Save yourself the trouble

Save electricity
Save energy
Save money
Save someone a seat
Save someone's life
Save something to a disk
Save time

Collocations with the verb ‘go’

Go bald

Go abroad
Go astray
Go bad
Go bankrupt
Go blind
Go crazy
Go fishing
Go mad
Go missing
Go online
Go out of business
Go overseas
Go quiet
Go sailing
Go to war

Collocations with the verb ‘come’

Come under attack

Come close
Come direct
Come early
Come first
Come into view
Come last
Come late
Come on time
Come prepared
Come right back
Come to a decision
Come to an agreement
Come to an end
Come to a standstill
Come to terms with
Come to a total of

Collocations with the verb ‘get’

Get the sack

Get a life

Get a job
Get a shock
Get angry
Get divorced
Get drunk
Get frightened
Get home
Get lost
Get married

Get permission
Get ready
Get started
Get the impression
Get upset
Get wet
Get worried

Collocations related to time

Bang on time
Dead on time
Free time
From dawn till dusk
Great deal of time
Early/late 15th century
Make time for
Next few days
Past few weeks
Right on time
Run out of time
Time goes by
Time passes
Waste time

Collocations related to business English

Annual turnover
Keep in mind
Break off negotiations
Close a deal
Close a meeting
Come to the point
Dismiss an offer
Draw a conclusion
Draw your attention to
Launch a new product
Go bankrupt
Go into partnership
Make a profit/loss