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Vocabulary Building - Collocations


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

or

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

economic chaos

economic cost

economic crisis

economic depression

economic difficulty

economic disadvantage

economic distress

economic gloom

economic hardship

economic loss

economic mess

economic necessity

economic need

economic problem

economic weakness

economic affair

economic condition

economic consequence

economic importance

economic issue

economic matter

economic objective

economic order

economic outlook

economic plan

economic position

economic program

economic prospect

economic significance

economic situation

economic status

economic structure

economic system

economic advantage

economic aid

economic assistance

economic benefit

economic cooperation

economic efficiency

economic gain

economic interest

economic opportunity

economic resource

economic reward

economic success

economic welfare

economic well-being

economic boom

economic change

economic development

economic expansion

economic foundation

economic growth

economic instability

economic institution

economic progress

economic reconstruction

economic recovery

economic reform

economic transformation

economic uncertainty

economic upturn

economic force

economic freedom

economic impact

economic independence

economic potential

economic power

economic pressure

economic sanction

economic strength

economic disaster

economic downturn

economic failure

economic slowdown

economic policy

economic stability

economic strategy

economic agent

economic analysis

economic evaluation

economic factor

economic context

economic zone

economic survival

economic measure

economic activity

economic adviser

economic community

economic council

economic cycle

economic embargo

economic exploitation

economic forecast

economic indicator

economic inequality

economic migrant

economic miracle

economic performance

economic planning

economic policy-making

economic priority

economic summit

economic term

economic theory

economic trend

AND there are MORE!!!

There are many online resources to learn about collocations, but here is my favourite:

http://www.just-the-word.com/

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!

NOW, here is a challenge for you!!

How many collocations can you think of for the adjective:

DRAMATIC???

Put your ideas in the comments box before looking at the link!

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