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Collocation Training

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Do you know the word “collocation”? This word means a right connection between words. If you get used to basic English, a next issue would be these things.

Examples: do homework  /  make  a mistake   /  take an exam

It is not only the most frequent grammar in a conversation, but also most difficult part in English. Unfortunately, memorizing each sentence is the only one way to learn this. However, before getting into a bad habit due to a repetition of a wrong use, learning right uses would be a big help.

Here are some common mistakes from each country’s students.

He survived *very *strongly (from a Japanese student)

We *own a shopping centre (from a Swiss student)

I *took a good decision (from an Italian student)

He knows what he’s *speaking about (from a German student)

I can’t see any *problem why (from a Czech student)

These mistakes are a little different depending on a nationality, it seems that they guess or translate wrongly from their language, which means we have our own language’s collocation. Therefore it is crucial to study about a collocation.

Then how can we study collocations? There are quotes from English club.

  • Be aware of collocations, and try to recognize them when you see or hear them.
  • Treat collocations as single blocks of language. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks, and learn strongly support, not strongly + support.
  • When you learn a new word, write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightly, remember distinctly,remember vaguely, remember vividly).
  • Read as much as possible. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally.
  • Revise what you learn regularly. Practise using new collocations in context as soon as possible after learning them.
  • Learn collocations in groups that work for you. You could learn them by topic (time, number, weather, money, family) or by a particular word (take action, take a chance, take an exam).
  • You can find information on collocations in any good learner’s dictionary. And you can also find specialized dictionaries of collocations.

It seems that there is no way without plugging away steadily. Here is a common collocation list, so see this list every night before going to bed. Learning English will never finish in Toronto. 

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