Collocation refers to the appearance or occurrence of groups or pairs of words, particularly when more frequent than random chance would suggest.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
44 views

What is the exact definition of “set off” in the expression “set off by (a pair of) commas?”

It seems to me that in English usage "set off" is almost irreplaceable in the collocation I refer to in the question and in similar phrases, e.g., "comma(s) set(s) off (this or that)." As if everyone ...
4
votes
3answers
219 views

The train commenced its journey - Is it bad word choice?

Commence means -begin,start. The train commenced its journey... Is the usage of commence flawed? What is the most striking difference between the three forms: Commence,start, and begin?
0
votes
2answers
34 views

Does the word “situation” collocate with the word “main”? [closed]

Is it right to say "the main situation"? I associate "main" with "problem".
0
votes
2answers
51 views

hit/meet a deadline

I've just heard: I have to make sure we hit the deadlines. There's a lot of emphasis on circulation figures this days... I know we say "meet a deadline" when something is finished by the date it was ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is my usage of the term “context” and its related verbs in this context meaningful? [closed]

In speech and writing, the meaning of context is: 1.1 The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning: HTML or XML codes ...
-3
votes
1answer
76 views

Why do we say that accidents/housefires “take place” ? [closed]

Accident Took Place At Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. Take place : You say that an event takes place. The wedding took place on the stage of the Sydney Opera House. Elections will take place in ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Do we plan a strategy?

Is it grammatically correct to say : "He planned a strategy".
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Is “fly like a bird” an example of collocation? [closed]

Is the simile phrase: flying like a bird an example of collocation, with the close ‘expected’ relationship between flying and bird?
3
votes
3answers
239 views

Meaning of “rendition” in the phrase “rendition camp”

In the movie series XIII the main character was imprisoned in something they called "a rendition camp in Romania". In the movie it looked just like a prison. He was put there on the order of NSA or ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Are prior, previous, and preceding interchangeable?

If I have four moments in time (A, B, C, D), where moment D is the present, would previous, preceding, and prior be interchangeable as adjectives to refer to moments A-C? Is one of them more likely to ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Can circumstances arise?

Is it correct to say: At the time, circumstances arose such that I had to leave the city. in the meaning that situation got such that the speaker could not stay in the city anymore? ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Opinion/advice/knowledge/information: which to use?

I chose a wrong answer in a test from http://www.cambridgeenglish.org According to Richard's ...... the train leaves at 7 o'clock. opinion advice knowledge information I chose ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

“Pain to” vs. “pain in”

Is it correct to say: He couldn't stand for long because of pain to his leg. or should it be: He couldn't stand for long because of pain in his leg. or are both acceptable, or is neither?
-1
votes
2answers
72 views

Adjective/ Collocation with 'Caution:' — Why does 'huge' sound odd?

Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor, The Telegraph UK, 11:08PM BST 07 May 2015: Nicola Sturgeon: I'm treating exit poll with huge caution Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “I’d treat the exit poll ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

What does “the young go getters” mean?

I came across this colloquial phrase: "the young go getters". What does that actually mean? Does it refer to a young child/adolescent who is supposed to be a creative thinker?
1
vote
2answers
88 views

demanded by or demanded for

I doubt about the correct preposition here. Which sentence should I use if it is the engineers themselves who are clamouring for the equipment? This instrument is highly demanded for engineers ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

usage of dissimilar

This sentence is grammatically correct. But does it make sense to use word dissimilar to avoid repetition of different here? the results would be absolutely dissimilar if there is any slight ...
-2
votes
1answer
40 views

using amidst in mathematic [closed]

I use a very formal writing style. If I want to say that I calculate a function between 5 times between each two points, can I use amid these ways? The function f(t) is calculated 5 times amidst ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

usage of amid instead of between [closed]

Can I replace between with amid here? The engineers need to design the relationship between these function blocks. Turning into The engineers need to design the relationship amid these ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Collocations of “Uncertainty”

I'm trying to find the right preposition to go after "uncertainty", as in statistical uncertainties. I'm guessing that it might be "the uncertainty on the prognosis", but I'm not sure. Can anybody ...
2
votes
2answers
222 views

Why can you not “improve your English ability”?

I hear a lot of Japanese people say "I want to improve my English ability" but I can't explain why this sentence is wrong. Could anyone tell me why you shouldn't say "I want to improve my English ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Receive a prize in/on/for a contest

What is the proper way to say that someone received a prize / achieved a certain rank as a result of his participation in a contest or competition? I would also like a brief explanation, if it's more ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

“Finnish Swedes” or “Swedish Finns”?

In Finland, there live 5.6 % Swedes (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fi.html). They have lived there for many generations, being standard Finnish citizens, just ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

“live on government aid” or “live off government aid”? [duplicate]

Is there a difference in meaning between "live on government aid" and "live off government aid"? Are both correct written forms?
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Usage: “Having children by/from different fathers”?

In the phrase having children by/from different fathers, is by British usage, and from American usage? The collocation with by, I could find in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, but the ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Inanimate nouns used in the phrase “want/need somebody to do”

I don't need [this document ] to contain a disclaimer formulated in such a straightforward way. I want [my words or my assertion] to sound convincing in the meeting tomorrow. Having done a ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

Does “trial” collocate with the verbs “win” and “lose”: can you “win/lose a trial”?

I know that "case" collocates with the verbs "win" and "lose". But do these verbs also collocate with the noun "trial"? Are the phrases "win/lose a trial" and "win/lose a case" synonyms?
4
votes
1answer
118 views

“Check that mate” : OED on usage of 'checkmate'

In a recent post How exactly is “to checkmate” used as a verb?, the answer given by @WS2 listed some OED examples of metaphorical usage of 'to checkmate'. Among them: [1649 A. Ascham Bounds ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

How exactly is “to checkmate” used as a verb?

Merriam-Webster has this definition of checkmate: checkmate transitive verb 1: to arrest, thwart, or counter completely 2: to check (a chess opponent's king) so that escape is impossible ...
0
votes
4answers
729 views

“Feasible”, “possible” or “potential” solution

I am trying to understand the difference, if any, between feasible, possible and potential. Most online dictionaries report them as synonyms. Is this right? More specifically, I want to use these ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

How to say “in the strict … of the term”?

I am not quite sure if the following expression makes sense in English: in the strict meaning of the term Is it right? Should the word meaning be replaced by sense? The meaning of the phrase ...
0
votes
2answers
173 views

collocation with over, down, out [duplicate]

I'm completely confused when it comes to the combinations with over | down | out: Thank you for coming over | Thank you for coming down | Thank you for coming out. Come over here | Come ...
-1
votes
6answers
110 views

What is the verb used with 'repentance' when the subject is God responding to someones repentance? [closed]

A person repents to God. Then God responds to their prayer and (v) their repentance. What verb goes here? What is the correct collocation? The only examples I can find on the internet are : 'I was ...
5
votes
2answers
835 views

“Please be considerate of…” vs. “please be considerate to…”

We have a sign on a door at work which slams when people aren't careful. It originally read: Please be considerate of those here and close this door quietly. Someone crossed out the of and ...
3
votes
3answers
580 views

“Attendant with” vs. “attendant to” vs. “attendant of”

Can the adjective attendant be used with the prepositions with, to, or of, and, if so, which is preferable? For example, I could say, "This manual describes the operation of the product and its ...
0
votes
3answers
179 views

Connotation of the phrase “bidding big”

Is it correct to say that a bid is "big"? What connotations does the phrase bidding big come to the average native speaker's mind? Is the phrase, "bidding big" positive or negative? Is it daring or ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

If I can “fall in” love, can I “fall in” depression?

In Italian we say essere innamorato (to be in love) whereas the English idiom, to fall in love, expresses the idea of abandonment, of letting oneself go. mi sono innamorato = I am in love, and ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Can “probability” be used interchangeably with “rate”?

In a document about a barcode reader, I came across an expression "scanning probability" to indicate the percentage of successful reading of barcodes by the barcode reader in question. I would use ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Is a value something to “indicate” the valued thing?

Sorry for the confusing title. I came across the following sentence and am wondering if the word "indicate" collocates with the word "value" as in this case: The PCS (Print Contrast Signal) is a ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Irradiate, illuminate and shine to mean “throw light”

All the three words are used to mean "throw light" in a document explaining principles of a barcode reader which I am checking. They are all used in sentences to explain "Throw LED to barcode". I ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

“A teaching assistant in/of/for Applied Quantitative Methods”

I am a Teaching Assistant in/of/for Applied Quantitative Methods Which preposition is correct this context? And why?
2
votes
1answer
103 views

“What X is this?” vs. “What's this X?”

What's the difference between "What color is this?" and "What's this color?". If someone is asking a kid, which one is more appropriate? Should he use "Which" instead of "What"?
2
votes
1answer
310 views

“it took quite a lot of courage to..” What is the collocation?

I need some help! I've found this sentence in my CAE book. There was a word missing, I wrote "took". My answer was correct. In my opinion John needed a lot of courage to sing that time. However, the ...
0
votes
2answers
153 views

“Two parts to it” versus “two parts of it”

What's the difference between “there are two parts of it” and “there are two parts to it”? My student asked me this question and I'm not quite sure what the correct answer is. Any advice would be ...
4
votes
4answers
580 views

Verb used with “threshold”

I am wondering what verb collocates with threshold. I can think of verbs such as surpass, cross, pass, but I am not sure if they are correct to use here. The threshold I am referring to is not a ...
0
votes
1answer
279 views

“The accomplishments we achieve will allow us to grow as individuals.” Is this correct?

I do not think the verb "achieve" collocates with "accomplishment" as it seems redundant. Any alternative verb suggestion would be welcome.
0
votes
2answers
90 views

“Habitat selection in/of birds”, “concept in/of statistics”, “theme in/of evolution”

It seems to me that in and of work equally well in sentences such as these: Habitat selection in birds is frequently studied. Habitat selection of birds is frequently studied. ...
0
votes
2answers
637 views

Does one say “subscribe to insurance” or is “enroll” or “buy” a more fitting verb?

This is for use in an apartment lease. The lease is translated from Japanese for reference only for expats living in Japan, and will not be legally binding. "The Second Party shall, for the duration ...
1
vote
1answer
299 views

“In my career as” — is “as” correct here?

I have this fragment: ... the experience and knowledge gained will be helpful in my career as a neuropathologist. Is the "as" here okay? It somehow does not sound right to me. Obviously I want ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

“Prices of” vs “prices for”

I came across two different sentences, from The Wall Street Journal, both containing the word "prices" but with different prepositions, "of" and "for". Here are the two sentences. Audi Cuts ...