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

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What “degrees” of consideration are there?

I am seriously considering taking English lessons Are there other degrees of consideration that are a little less serious?
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4answers
14k views

“Excel at something” vs. “excel in something”

I've come across a question while writing an exam Roger really excelled ___ sports A) at B) on C) in D) for My first thought was 'in', later I remembered using 'at' also. I've ...
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2answers
65 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 ...
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0answers
21 views

“For your archive” [closed]

Like "for your information" and "for your reference", can I say "for your archive"? As in this sentence: This is an audio book we listened to early day for your archive/for your archival purpose. ...
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3answers
59 views

A word that collocates with “electronic”

First of all, I am not a native English speaker and I'm completely new here, so please forgive me if I have posted the question in a wrong category or anything. I am trying to write my Statement of ...
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2answers
12k views

“Starting with” vs. “starting from”

I would like to ask about the difference between the two phrases starting with and starting from. Take the following two sentences for example: Please give me all the names starting with A. ...
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2answers
53 views

the meaning and use of “no more than”

I 'm always confused about the meaning and use of "no more than " or "no more...than ". It's like the comparatives, but sometimes also like collocation. How should I distinguish it? For example, in ...
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1answer
40 views

Lexical collocation of “former”

Imagine that you are the president of a company, and there was another person playing the same role before you. How should I describe the former president using the expression like "He was the ...
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3answers
154 views

Is the sentence “I want to take a rest” wrong?

I heard that we should use "I want to rest" instead of "I want to take a rest." I also heard that "I want to take a rest" is not a sentence a native speaker would use. Is that correct? Should we ...
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1answer
37 views

“Rise in” vs. “rise of”

What’s the difference between "rise in" and "rise of"? Specifically, I am looking at the sentence: The rise __ juvenile crime is attributed to three factors. Which preposition should I choose?
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6answers
2k views

Why do you “cut” a check?

It's not the end of the deal, right? It's not just you cut a check and you walk away. In this sentence, why does one say "cut" a check? How and when did this comes to be? Is it a popular idiom ...
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2answers
103 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 ...
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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 ...
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7answers
537 views

Proper verb to use with “test”

Assume that somebody has created a test/quiz like this one. Has he developed the test? put it together? wrote it? something else? What verb would you use?
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1answer
882 views

“Further established in” vs. “further established by”

Are both these usages correct, and if so, is one preferred? ... and was further established in follow-up studies (e.g., Doe et al., 2013). ... and was further established by follow-up studies ...
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2answers
64 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?
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3answers
238 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?
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4answers
955 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 ...
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2answers
37 views

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

Is it right to say "the main situation"? I associate "main" with "problem".
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2answers
79 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 ...
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2answers
87 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 ...
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1answer
59 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 ...
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4answers
921 views

Do you “hit” or “press” a button?

I am currently writing an user manual for a software tool, providing step-by-step usage instructions. I am aware that pressing a button is a perfectly fine expression. However, I'm trying to find ...
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1answer
85 views

Do we plan a strategy?

Is it grammatically correct to say : "He planned a strategy".
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1answer
86 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 ...
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1answer
135 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?
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3answers
252 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Can “shrugging” only be done with shoulders?

Please compare He shrugged. and He shrugged his shoulders. Is there anything else that can be shrugged, besides shoulders? To me it sounds like duplication when used in this way. I'm aware ...
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1answer
223 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 ...
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1answer
67 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? ...
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1answer
107 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 ...
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2answers
76 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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
43 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 ...
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1answer
50 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 ...
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1answer
99 views

Qualifying a profile

Which of these adjectives is better used to qualify a profile (the width of an elongated object, such as in crossing profile)? low or small large or high Low crossing profile seems more common ...
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3answers
191 views

The wrong group to be “in” Or “on”?

'They either participate with some decorum, or recognise this is the wrong group to be on!' Is that sentence idiomatically and grammatically correct? Can on and in be used in this sentence?
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2answers
168 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 ...
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2answers
268 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 ...
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1answer
50 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 ...
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3answers
16k views

“In the market” or “on the market”

I am trying to help a friend of mine proofreading an English email and she has a preposition there that I am not completely certain is correct. The original sentence was this: [Name of the ...
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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?
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1answer
75 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 ...
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2answers
244 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?
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61 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 ...
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Does “freak somebody out” has the meaning of “make somebody angry”?

This is an excerpt from the LDOCE. freak out phrasal verb informal to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, or afraid : People just freaked out when they ...