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Vocabulary 07 - More Two-Word Collocations
The poppy is a hardy perennial. 'Hardy perennial' is a collocation.

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.
1.
"Chairman Radhakrishnan of ISRO praised the --- put in by the dedicated space research scientists in successfully sending the space craft to Mars." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Just now
Just about
Just cause
Joint effort
'Joint effort' means 'an effort put in by two or more people working together to achieve something'. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
2.
"Failure to introduce a --- process was the main reason for the fall of the Manmohan Singh government in India." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Radical reform
Racial discrimination
Raise questions
Reasonable explanation
A 'radical reform' is a fundamental and path-breaking reform that can energise economies. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
3.
"He ignored the --- related to heart attacks and paid the penalty with his life." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Warm welcome
Warning sign
Welcome change
Well before
A 'warning sign' is an early indication that something is wrong, allowing a person to take corrective action. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
4.
"None of the terrorist groups came forward to --- for the gruesome 26/11 Mumbai terror attack." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Carry weight
Cast doubt
Cause trouble
Claim responsibility
To 'claim responsibility' is to own up or accept responsibility for something. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
5.
"Teachers and parents give --- to home work as they consider homework to be a major tool in enhancing a child's ability to learn." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Travel light
Tight schedule
Time off
Top priority
'Top priority' means 'the most important thing'. It is given to something that is vital and important. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
6.
"Ranbir Kapoor has a --- to behave in exemplary fashion in public as he is a celebrity who can influence young minds." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Make believe
Make progress
Moral obligation
Meet opposition
'Moral obligation' means 'a need to do something because it's the right thing to do'. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
7.
"India wants the world community to --- on countries that abet terror activities." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Inextricably linked
Immediate action
Impose sanctions
Innocent victim
To 'impose sanctions' is to limit or ban trade with a country and cut off contacts with other countries so as to force a change in that country's policies. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
8.
"The media could --- get to meet Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the President of the Indian National Congress party." - Choose the appropriate pairs of words to fill up the blank.
Hardly any
Hardly ever
Hardly likely
Hardy perennial
'Hardly ever' means 'almost never'. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
9.
"Roger Federer's 18th Major title is ---. He should grab it in the 2015 season." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Long overdue
Leading role
Lucky escape
Lose control
If something is 'long overdue' then it should have happened or should have been done a long time ago. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
10.
"There is still a --- between the top four in tennis and other players." - Choose the appropriate pair of words to fill up the blank.
Yawning gap
Yet again
Yield results
Youthful enthusiasm
A 'yawning gap' is a very wide gap, just as there is a wide gap between the four top players and the rest in tennis. The other pairs of words are also collocations and can be used in other contexts. See if you can find out what they mean
Author:  V T Narendra

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