Word collocations

One of the difficulties ESL students have with words is knowing which words go together, particularly with phrasal verbs.     The more you read and notice, the more you will learn this, which is called collocations.

English Club has a good albeit limited website about collocations.  I encourage you to explore it.

Just the Word also will provide some useful collocations for any word you enter.

The point is that you cannot simply learn a word in isolation.   The reason students struggle with cloze exercises is because they do this — they learn words in isolation, simply reciting the word and its translated meaning.   Instead, they should be seeing the word in sentences and in different contexts.   They should practice writing the word in different contexts as well.   Remember this — one word can have slightly or radically different meanings depending on the context.   This is not the case for all words, but certainly for many.

Collocation Examples  (from About.com)

Try this quiz  (and other things from this website)


Learning and knowing collocations are simply one more approach (and aspect of vocabulary)  that will improve your vocabulary knowledge and ability.   Simply engaging in translating and reciting words is not an effective method.