In English , some words are regularly used in combination with others. The habitual and idiomatic use of this word combination is called “Collocation”. For example, Strong coffee is a collocation while
Powerful coffee is not so Powerful coffe is wrong.
Let’s have a look at more examples:
1. A burning desire is correct while
a blazing/firing desire is incorrect.
2. A blazing row is correct while
a burning row is incorrect.
3. A heavy smoker is correct while
a strong/devoted smoker is incorrect.
4. A crashing bore is correct while
crashing nuisance is incorrect.
5. A golden opportunity is correct while
a golden chance is incorrect.
Collocations add variety to your composition and give it a natural touch. Collocations also help convey exact expression of thoughts and ideas.
The followings are most important collocations used in writing and speaking:
a break, an exam, a seat, a taxi ,someone’s temperature ,a look, a chance, notes ,a rest , someone’s place (Americans = Take a walk, a swim, a rest ,a shower, a bath),a breath, a seat.
a headache ,a haircut, breakfast, lunch, supper, tea, coffee, a drink, a meal, a bath, a shave, a shower, a rest, a lie-down, a sleep, a dream, a good time, a bad day, a day off, a holiday, a good journey, a trip, a chat, a talk, a word with some one, a row, a quarrel, a fight, ,a holiday ,a bath, a drink, a rest ,a problem, a swim, a walk, a stroll, a ride, a dance, a try, a go, a game of tennis, a look, a baby, an accident, difficulty/trouble in, an operation, a nervous break-down, a phone call from, a shock, a surprise
a leg ,a window ,the law ,a world record ,someone’s heart ,a relationship ,a promise the rules ,a habit, the ice, the news to someone
a cold ,a bus ,someone’s attention ,a ball ,a thief ,a fright ,a surprise ,fire ,someone’s eye ,a mouse
attention, the bill, interest ,the price ,by check ,someone a visit, a salary ,cash ,someone a compliment ,wages
a pet, control, a promise ,calm ,someone’s place ,an appointment, quiet ,a secret, a diary, the change
time ,money ,someone’s life, energy ,someone a seat, oneself trouble ,electricity, one’s strength, space ,a penalty
a partner, time, the answer, happiness ,the money ,a solution ,space ,a way, a replacement ,a cure
mad ,wild ,crazy, white ,abroad ,missing, quiet ,bad ,dark, overseas,climbing,reading,swimming,hunting,sailing,shooting,riding,walking,shopping,skating
a cough, a loud scream, a damn care, it a try/a miss/ a chance/a clean/a push/me a ride/ a ring, it a kick, an exam
first, last, right ,early ,close ,prepared ,late, second ,complete, direct
ready ,married ,started ,divorced ,burnt ,drunk ,angry ,lost ,worried, wet
tense, comfort able, happy ,free, nervous ,old ,disappointed ,proud ,sleepy, hurt
a goal a chance the point a flight a mess one’s family a lesson one’s home an opportunity an appointment someone’s help
home, frightened ,the sack, permission ,a surprise ,the message ,lost ,ready ,a job, nowhere, old, cold, hot, a drink.
homework, the shopping ,the housework, someone a favor, business ,nothing ,the cooking, a job ,one’s best, a thing, the accounts, the ironing, a lot of/some walking,reading,swimming,letter-writing,harm,good,sport,exercise,one’s hair/teeth/duty.
progress ,an effort, money ,a mistake, furniture, a noise, the washing up ,trouble ,peace, a journey, an offer, arrangements, a suggestion, a decision, an attempt, an effort, an excuse, an exception, a mistake, a noise, a phone call, money, a profit, a fortune, love, war, a bed, a fire, progress.