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Last updated date: 19th May 2024
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Definition of Collocation

A collocation is a term where two or more words often go well together. These combinations will just sound right to people whose native language is English because they use them all the time in their regular conversations. On the other hand, the reality is that these combinations may be unnatural and just sound wrong grammatically but will definitely make you feel confident about how you convey things.

Types of Collocations

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

  • adverb + adjective: completely satisfied 

  • adjective + noun: excruciating pain 

  • noun + noun: a surge of anger 

  • noun + verb: lions roar 

  • verb + noun: commit suicide 

  • verb + expression with a preposition by its side: burst into tears 

  • verb + adverb: wave frantically 

Even though sometimes, it may not feel so common to use these combinations of words, it will be highly effective in conveying your message in a more appropriate sense. Collocation refers to a group of two or more words that usually go together and are found in pairs or in small phrases. Even though it is possible to use other word combinations, understanding collocations will definitely help English learners improve their fluency and communication skills because they are words that usually go together. There might be hard and quick rules in terms of grammar why some of these words belong together, or there may be no rules at all; the words are just that way because of regular colloquial use.

More About the Topic

The most vital part of any language is “vocabulary”, that is why, while learning any language, we give greater importance to learning and understanding the vocabulary. As we are covering most of the vocabulary in the business world and business corresponding to accounting, today, we will focus mainly on collocation, different types of collocations, and their examples. The basics of collocations in English grammar and the significance of various types of collocations are discussed here. 

What is Collocation?

Collocation is a grouping of familiar words that seem to belong together because of their continual use and thus creating a coherent meaning. Suppose, it is said heavy rain instead of big or strong rain conveys the implication that it is raining heavily.


‘Strong rain’ or ‘big rain’ offers the same meaning, in the collocation example mentioned above. Also, both of them are grammatically correct, but the utilization of big rain or strong rain will sound outlandish. Thus, we use heavy rain for better English.


There are various examples where we use a specific set or group of words to make it sound a natural fit. Collocation can also be defined as a group of words that are expected to be together. Some more instances of collocations are ‘to do homework’, ‘to make the bed’, ‘to take a risk’, etc.


Besides the above-stated reasons, there are other reasons as well for using collocations. These are discussed as follows.

  • To make the use of the English language straightforward and exciting.

  • To assist in sticking to a pre-decided and proper structure of the English language, as it follows a particular order.

  • To assist in embellishing the English language.

  • To make better use of words or groups of words by conferring it in a more understandable form.

  • To improve the use of the English language, and facilitate its innovation.

Types of Collocations

Verb Collocations

Verb collocations are those types of collocations that are used extensively and tend to involve a verb + noun phrase in the day to day situations. Here are the examples of these words so you can interpret them in a better way. In every instance, the verb has other meanings as well, but the outcome of combining it with the other words is a verb collocation. 

  1. Pay a Bill: I refuse to pay a bill if I am not satisfied with the service.

  2. Come Prepared: Come prepared to the school tomorrow, since you have a presentation.

  3. To Find a Replacement: Indian team requires to find a replacement for Sachin as early as possible.

Adjective Collocations

When you add adjectives with nouns and adverbs, it forms adjective collocations. Here are a few examples of adjective collocations.

  1. Deep: Deep feeling, deep holes, deep trouble, deep sleep.

  2. Heavy: Heavy rainfall, a heavy drinker, heavy snow, heavy traffic.

  3. Strong:  Strong smell, strong body, strong sense, strong denial.

  4. Big: Big disappointment, big failure, big mistake, big surprise.

Noun Collocations

In Noun collocations, a verb and a noun can be used to form a group of words. Service industry, tea leaves, dogs bark, water flows, paper flutters, blurred vision, critical analysis.

Business Collocations

Most of the time, collocations are critical in several types of businesses and work scenes. There are multiple ways in which you can make a collocation with the help of verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. They can be mixed with keywords and a business expression can be made. 


Some of the Important Business Collocations are as follows.

  • Security Blanket

  • Cash Flow

  • Opinion Poll

  • Make Money

  • Forgive a Debt

  • Counterfeit Money

  • Key in a PIN

  • Annual Turnover

  • Go Bankrupt

  • Cease to Trade

  • Hard-earned Money

  • Deposit a Check

  • Close a Deal

  • Open an Account

FAQs on Collocations

1. What are Collocations?

Collocation can also be defined as a group of words that seem to belong together. Collocation is a grouping of familiar words which seems to be together because of their continual use and thus creating the same meaning.

2. What is Noun Collocation? Give Examples.

In Noun collocations, a verb and a noun can be used to form a group of words. For instance, the Service industry, tea leaf, dogs bark, water flows, paper flutters, blurred vision, critical analysis, etc.

3. What are Verb Collocations?

Verb collocations are used extensively and tend to involve a verb + noun in the day to day situations.

4. Why is it important to learn collocations?

Your language or conversation will sound more natural and more easily understood by your fellow mates. You will always have alternative and richer ways of expressing yourself and feel so much more confident when you can actually convey what your mind actually thinks. It is a lot easier for our brains to remember and use any language in a group rather than as single words. This will result in healthier and effective communication.

5. What is collocation in English grammar?

In the English language, collocation refers to a natural combination of words that are closely affiliated with each other. Collocations make it easier to avoid overused or ambiguous words like very, nice, or beautiful, by using a pair of words that fit the context better and that have a more precise meaning. Those overused words will make you feel like you lack confidence and proper knowledge of the English language. Good communication skills are really important for your future career and to build a better relationship in your organization.

6. Why is collocation important in learning the English language?

Collocations are important because they make your language sound more natural even though that might not be your native language. If you master your use of collocations, your English will be more idiomatic and natural, that is, more similar to the way it is spoken by native speakers and that will improve the chances of being recognized in your workplace. Collocations can be developed over time with practice. People become more comfortable and confident towards your work when you are approachable and explain things in a much simpler way.

7. What is an academic collocation?

Academic collocations are collocations that are useful for your academic studies and other competitive situations during your higher studies. It is exactly the same concept that we explained earlier, but the focus will be on the academic vocabulary more than casual collocations. Learning how academic words collocate will help you make your academic writing and speaking more accurate and natural. This will help in fetching you more marks and help in talking out your opinion more comfortably.

8. What do the most common collocations look like?

Collocations with the words take, go, make, have, do, get, go, catch, pay, miss, break, , come, save and keep are some of the most common collocations used regularly when we communicate.

List of some of the Common Collocations in English are

  • Take a seat

  • Take a chance

  • Go crazy

  • Go bankrupt

  • Have a good time

  • Have fun

  • Make a promise

  • Make an appointment

  • Break the rules

  • Break the ice

  • Catch a bus

  • Catch someone's attention

  • Do your best

  • Do your hair

  • Get a job 

  • Get married

  • Come on time

  • Come into view

  • Save someone a seat

  • Save electricity

  • Pay someone a visit

  • Pay your respects

  • Lose track of time

  • Lose one's mind

  • Keep a promise

  • Keep in touch

  • Miss the chance 

  • Miss the meeting