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see also Collocations List

What is a collocation?

A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These combinations just sound "right" to native English speakers, who use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations may be unnatural and just sound "wrong". Look at these examples:

natural English... unnatural English...
the fast train
fast food
the quick train
quick food
a quick shower
a quick meal
a fast shower
a fast meal

Why learn collocations?

Tell me who you go with and I'll tell you who you are.

How to learn collocations

Types of collocation

There are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb, noun, adjective etc. Some of the most common types are:

In this lesson we look at some sample collocations, and end with quizzes to check your understanding:

Advanced students and teachers may also be interested in: