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's the difference between “speak” and “talk”, grammatically speaking?

There are a number of questions e.g. What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”? and “Speak to” vs. “Speak with” that deal with the slightly different connotations of the words "speak" ...
6
votes
4answers
74k views

“Elder brother” or “older brother”?

I've read both forms in newspapers and online news: elder brother and older brother. What's the difference between them? When should I use which?
1
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3answers
1k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
181k views

“Call me through/at/on this number”

What is the difference between the following when referring to telephone calls? Please call me on this number. You can reach me on this number. Please call me at this number. You can reach ...
9
votes
5answers
106k views

“Centered on” or “centered around”

I have often heard presenters talking about something centered around another thing, but it seems a bit illogical and hence improper to talk like this. Am I right about this?
7
votes
4answers
15k views

“Take a degree” or “do a degree”

In university I learned that we say to do a degree in X but I saw many other sources where it says to take a degree in X. Which is correct? Is there a regional difference?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct verb for 'driving' a ferry?

The captain of a ferry appears to steer or drive it. What is the correct verb for this?
3
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4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
18k views

“Nervous” vs. “anxious”

Are these words interchangeable? When would you use one over the other? For example, is it correct to say you "feel nervous" or "feel anxious"? Is it correct to say you are an "anxious person" or a "...
22
votes
5answers
199k views

What is the difference between “sardonic” and “sarcastic”?

Basically, sardonic and sarcastic both stand for mocking gestures, but what is the difference in their contextual use? Are there any other words that represent a similar gesture?
4
votes
0answers
6k views

“Particular” vs. “specific” [closed]

The Free Dictionary lists particular and specific as synonyms, but there still seems to be a subtle distinction between the two. What is that distinction? In a phrase along the lines of: the [...
2
votes
2answers
646 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
2answers
275 views

What is a better antonym pair than “upmost” vs. “deepest” for blood vessels?

I’m thinking about the opposite ends of a blood vessel, so perhaps the “upmost” blood vessels and “deepest” blood vessels. My problem is that I like neither word quoted in the previous sentence. ...
0
votes
1answer
295 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?
12
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“Explain the reason why”

Is it natural to say "he explained the reason why he was late"? I suspect that it doesn't make sense. But I reckon "That is the reason why he's sick" is acceptable with "the reason". Could it be ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Using “respectively” with “and” vs. “or”

Is it acceptable usage to use "or" with "respectively", or is it possible only with "and"? Example: If the light changes from red to blue or from blue to red, you must catch or throw the ball, ...
1
vote
1answer
619 views

“give me five” and “slap me five”, any difference?

What's the meaning of "slap me five"? Any difference between "slap me five" and "give me five"? There is a book called Slap Me Five.
1
vote
4answers
22k views

“Cool water” vs. “cold water” [closed]

We often use "cool water". But can we use "cool water" or "cold water"? Which is correct? Examples: I drink cool water only. People always like cool water. In the above examples, ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

“Take advantage” vs. “make advantage”

I'm worried that 'take advantage' could have a slightly negative connotation. Could you say "make advantage [of a situation]"?
0
votes
2answers
711 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
326 views

Electrical/electric [duplicate]

Which is correct: Electric power engineering student Electrical power engineering student