Questions tagged [collocation]

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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2 votes
3 answers
155 views

Can the predeterminer "half" comfortably occur before plural nouns without determiners?

So "half" belongs to a special class of words known as "predeterminers", those that can occur before determiners: Half a century Half the people in this company can't speak a ...
0 votes
2 answers
86 views

Onboard into/onto/to

I'm trying to figure out which is the right preposition to use after "onboard" (in the meaning of "integrate someone into an organization or familiarize him with one's products or ...
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Does "chagrin" mean embarrassment or annoyance?

I originally learned this word studying for the GRE: https://s3.amazonaws.com/magoosh.resources/magoosh-gre-1000-words_oct01.pdf chagrin (noun): strong feelings of embarrassment Much to the the timid ...
3 votes
1 answer
376 views

Is it "increase" or "expand" when talking about vocabulary?

When my son said he doesn't recognise all the words in Wordle I commented that he is thus increasing his vocabulary. He then contended that the correct word should be expanding. Who is correct? What ...
6 votes
2 answers
151 views

Why is “learning hard” wrong yet “studying hard” is right?

Why does saying learning hard sound so terribly wrong and unnatural, given that working hard, exercising hard, listening hard, thinking hard, and even it rains hard sound perfectly natural and get ...
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

Is it correct to say "I associate my ringtone with a headache"?

The idea is that it is very annoying and I'm tired to hear the same tune over and over again. Please see the full sentence where the phrase is used below: Aren’t you tired of your old boring ringtone ...
1 vote
4 answers
24k views

Love in a hating way

Is there a single word (or a two-word phrase at least) that means "love in a hating way (hatefully, execrably)"? There is the term "Love–hate relationship" but it is more of a ...
0 votes
2 answers
5k views

Whisper into or whisper in?

Which is the correct one: She whispered in his ear. Or She whispered into his ear.
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

"Starting from version" vs "Starting with version" vs "Beginning with version"

When you write about software it is quite common to read that a certain version has introduced a new feature. Usually the new feature also will be available in later releases. I found three different ...
2 votes
3 answers
9k views

Dreams come true or they are fulfilled. What about 'hopes'?

Let's say things went the way we had hoped they would. Would it be appropriate, then, to say, 'our hopes were fulfilled' or is there a more acceptable or better expression? Apparently, 'things went ...
0 votes
2 answers
21k views

trend for / in / of?

Please refer to the diagram shown below. Which preposition is should be used in this sentence? The trends [for / in / of] both commodities are very similar. I have looked up my Oxford dictionary ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does "unwarranted conclusion" mean? [closed]

What does "unwarranted conclusion" mean in a context that especially is related to a scientific survey? Apparently it means that drawing a conclusion without taking into account whole ...
2 votes
4 answers
17k views

"Hold the hope" vs. "keep the hope"

I'm trying to decide whether I should use "hold the hope" or "keep the hope" in a composition I'm preparing. It seems to me they are equivalent. Personally I like "hold the hope" better because sounds ...
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

collocation for "compensate" the absence

I am unable to attend the class and I don't want to get an absence. I need to ask the teacher for the materials I can do that will "compensate" my absence (meaning I will do them instead of ...
29 votes
6 answers
314k 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?
0 votes
5 answers
22k views

Does "freak somebody out" mean "make somebody angry"?

This is an excerpt from the Longman Dictionary Of Contemporary English. freak out phrasal verb informal to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, ...
3 votes
0 answers
48 views

Why are the "minutes of a meeting" called so? [closed]

The points discussed in a meeting once written are termed as "minutes" rather than "points". What is the rationale?
3 votes
2 answers
121 views

Can we say "they two" the way we say "you two"?

I am familiar with the expression "you two" used in sentences that address two people at once, as in: You two weren't present in the meeting. But is it okay to use this kind of expression ...
2 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is there a difference between "anatomic" and "anatomical"?

I want to say "anatomical context". Google tells me that anatomical in that context is preferred. An online dictionary claimed that American English does not have anatomic but only knows anatomical.
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

What does the expression "goes the message" mean?

What does the expression "goes the message" mean? I've just come across this expression and don't know how to explain / understand it. An example: Another way showoffs try to show how ...
1 vote
2 answers
84 views

Can you ‘join an ideology’?

Obviously the verb join refers conventionally to a group of people, but what about ideologies? Can you ‘join veganism’? Or ‘join communism?’ A quick search showed me that this collocation is far from ...
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Join, join in or take part in a talent show? [closed]

Which of the following has the correct collocation? Please explain the differences. Thank you very much. A. Tom has joined a talent show. B. Tom has joined in a talent show. C. Tom has taken part in a ...
2 votes
1 answer
69 views

Is saying high/low (number) wrong?

I got this feedback of "wrong collocation" on my essay. Here is the line - The average level of computer ownership in 2002 was in the high fifties (in percentage). The teacher said that '...
0 votes
1 answer
62 views

Are there uses of the word eidetic not involving the word "memory"?

Title says it all. Are there ways to use the word eidetic that don't follow it immediately with the word memory? Seems like a waste of word with wonderfully unusual spelling.
3 votes
2 answers
124 views

What's the reason for the word order of "would sooner have"?

I'm a native speaker from the UK, but after living for more than 10 years in a foreign country, I'm beginning to notice how my English is getting much worse. The other day, I came across a phrase that ...
4 votes
0 answers
62 views

What do you call the set of ngrams?

A lexicon is a list of words that belong to a particular language (see this answer). Is there a name for "the set of all ngrams" ? I mean the set of all consecutive words (collocations and ...
9 votes
4 answers
62k 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?
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Delivery (childbirth) at home, at a home, in a home?

I've read an article and there's a sentence which confuses me: No matter if your delivery takes place in a home or at the hospital... If I rewrite it this way: No matter if your delivery takes ...
1 vote
0 answers
39 views

Collocations for litigation [closed]

In the sentence: The company's financing prospects worsened after entering litigation with several of its business partners. I found this to be a bit vague, and not placing the emphasis on the right ...
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Anecdotic vs. Anecdotal… sometimes synonyms, but fairly non-exchangeable?

I’m a bit puzzled by these two words' meaning. Observing examples and the use in context it looks like anecdotal is preferred to be used as an adjective with collocations such as: “anecdotal evidence”,...
1 vote
1 answer
7k views

Opinion/advice/knowledge/information: which to use? [closed]

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 knowledge. The right ...
1 vote
4 answers
133 views

Is it acceptable to modify "bonus" with "positive"

Before I jump to my question, a short note about cloze tests from Wikipedia: A cloze test (also cloze deletion test) is an exercise, test, or assessment consisting of a portion of text with certain ...
3 votes
1 answer
50k views

prepositions - "increase of" vs "increase in"

Which one is correct or if both are correct, is there any difference? The change is a 10 percent increase of tuition The change is a 10 percent increase in tuition
0 votes
1 answer
3k views

Which is the preposition to go with “best”? Is it “best at”?

Is it right to say: We take pride in doing what we are best at, delivering unsurpassed levels of service, so our customers can do what they are best at.
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Undergo vs Suffer an accident

I was doing a CAE Practice Test on Use of English (It is a multiple choice exercise) when I came across the following example: Her life was cut tragically short. She ______ a horrific accident at ...
5 votes
3 answers
21k views

forget or forget about?

Apart from the difference between forget it and forget about it, what do you forget and what do you forget about? Do you forget a face, someone's birthday or your date who is waiting for you? Do ...
0 votes
1 answer
32 views

Predicative use of 'ongoing'

As a Spanish employee of a German multinational company, I have always cringed at my German colleagues' tendency to give 'ongoing' a predicative use, e.g. 'The meeting is ongoing'. I was sure that ...
4 votes
2 answers
35k views

Does " since forever" make sense?

I've heard "since forever" used by many. I can't get my head around the contradiction in terms. Is it correct?
12 votes
6 answers
39k views

When to use words quite, rather, pretty, fairly etc: degree of downtoning

Is there any logic to this or just decision? I would use the following combinations: quite amazing rather large pretty good I would not use the following combinations: pretty amazing quite large ...
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

"Build a PC", "assemble a PC", or something else?

When you have all the parts of a PC and you need to connect them into a working PC, which is the appropriate verb to describe this action: build, assemble or something else?
8 votes
7 answers
3k 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
2 answers
98 views

Does the collocation "to have a bad sleep" exist? [closed]

Does the collocation "to have a bad sleep" exist? For example, will it be grammaticaly correct if I use it in the sentence "He had a bad sleep last night and was not able to wake up on ...
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Is respect awarded, accorded or afforded?

I was revising a colleague's work, and saw the phrase "awarded the respect it deserves". This struck me as incorrect, but I was struck harder still by an uncertainty as to whether it ...
-1 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is “He picked up a quarrel” correct? [closed]

Is this sentence grammatically correct? He picked up a quarrel.
1 vote
3 answers
2k 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.
2 votes
3 answers
29k 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 ...
15 votes
5 answers
8k views

I'm a bit "green around the gills"

Green about the gills is a common British English expression that is used when someone is feeling queasy, or about to vomit or be sick (there's that AmEng and BrEng divide once again). Cambridge ...
0 votes
1 answer
300 views

Meaning: in a whirl of excitement

There is a phrase in Daddy-Long-Legs: "in a whirl of excitement". I searched for its meaning but I could not find something precise for that. Please let me know what does exactly that mean?
5 votes
2 answers
211 views

which is suitable for wine, "sourness" or "acidity"?

Which adjective is suitable for tastes of wine? And why? I'd like to know which expression you usually use and if there is any difference. More context: I had a chance to translate ”酸味”, which ...
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

"Soil acidification" or "acidification of the soil"?

I'm writing an article for a scientific magazine, and this is a particular example of a general doubt that often happens to me. When should I use "X of Y" instead of "Y X"? I hope ...

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