Collocations are powerful tools which anyone can use to improve both their speaking and writing skills.
IELTS examiners pay close attention to your ability to use collocations.
So, what is a collocation?
A collocation is simply two or more words that often go together. There is no real rule about how to make a collocations. Collocations just represent the reality of how people speak English.
Let me give you an example:
Which expression sounds correct to you?
COST OF LIVING
PRICE OF LIVING
Most of you have probably chosen COST OF LIVING. And you are correct.
Why NOT say PRICE of LIVING?
Well, the meaning would be the same, but we just do not say it. Why?
...because COST OF LIVING is a COLLOCATION
In fact, collocations are a very natural part of communication.
When babies learn to speak their first language, they start with SINGLE WORDS
and later begin to put words together.
Babies make COLLOCATIONS before they make sentences.
Now, let's look at just ONE word: ECONOMIC.
ECONOMIC is almost always used as an ADJECTIVE.
How many words do you think will make a collocation with ECONOMIC????
Can you guess???
TRY to guess before you scroll down and look at this list:
How many can you think of before you look at the list?
LIST OF WORDS THAT MAKE COLLOCATIONS WITH ECONOMIC
Words in BOLD are the most commonly used
AND there are MORE!!!
There are many online resources to learn about collocations, but here is my favourite:
You can use this site to learn more about collocations or also when doing your writing homework for high school or university.
However, it is important to remember that you must use the collocation in the proper CONTEXT!