Vocabulary 07 - More Two-Word Collocations
Have you ever heard any one ask for QUICK FOOD? No? Of course, that person must have meant FAST FOOD. Have you read in the newspapers that a person UNDERTOOK SUICIDE? No? COMMITTED SUICIDE works better. FAST FOOD and COMMITTED SUICIDE are known as collocations and collocations have the property of always having their words together in a particular order. If you change the order or one of the words then it sounds wrong.
Collocations are formed by a combination of adjectives, verbs, nouns and adverbs. For instance with just one adverb, QUITE, you could form the collocations QUITE AGREE, QUITE ENOUGH and QUITE OFTEN, with a verb, an adjective and an adverb respectively. As well as these types of words sometimes prepositions are added to make more collocations.
We don’t know how collocations were formed but over a period of time they have entered into our vocabulary and stayed there. Trying to change the order of the words is almost out of the question and if anyone tried to do so it would probably not convey the same meaning as the writer or speaker intended.
Knowing a variety of collocations will grant many advantages to the writer or speaker. With a good stock of collocations you would be able to understand native speakers better and you would probably speak a more authentic sounding and easily discernible language yourself; one in tune with local conditions. You would have an array of words in your vocabulary that you could use to make your communication that much more effective.
Collocations add a certain charm to the English language and anyone who has a good repertoire of collocations in his vocabulary is bound to be respected. Take the quiz that follows and learn some highly popular two word collocations.