Collocation In English

In English, collocation is two or more words that go together naturally.  Collocation makes your English sound fluent and natural. It is like a firm handshake between two people.

How Collocation Works

Collocation: Big

The word BIG is often used alongside happenings or events. For example:

A big decision

A big disappointment

A big surprise

A big failure

A big improvement


Collocation: Great

The word GREAT is often used along with feelings or qualities.

Great + Feelings

Great admiration

Great excitement

Great joy

Great anger

Great improvement

Great accomplishment

Great + Qualities

Great power

Great wealth

Great understanding

Great wisdom

In great detail

Great skill

Collocation: Large

The word LARGE goes with words that have to do with numbers and measurements.

A large proportion

A large number

A large scale

A large quantity

A large population

Collocation: Heavy

HEAVY is used with some weather conditions:

Heavy rain

Heavy fog

Heavy snow

Heavy is also used with other words to describe people with bad habits.

A heavy drug user

A heavy smoker

A heavy drinker

A heavy sleeper

Note: The expression “a heavy sleeper” is not someone who sleeps a lot instead it’s a person who doesn’t wake up easily when sleeping.

In addition, HEAVY is used in collocation with two unpleasant things:

Heavy traffic

Heavy taxes

Collocation: Deep

The word DEEP is used together with words that express some strong feelings:

Deep depression

Deep devotion

Deep is also used in these expressions:

In deep trouble

In deep thought

In a deep sleep

Collocation: Strong

Strong connects with words that express opinions and senses:

A strong smell

A strong taste

Strong + Facts/opinions

Strong argument

Strong evidence

Strong emphasis

A strong commitment

Strong denial

Strong resistance

Now, why not try this quiz to see how much you understand the topic

Collocations Quiz

Click 'Next' to begin!

The market women were not comfortable with the _______taxes from the government.


The outcome of the exam was a ________ surprise to all.


According to the tradition, the first son gets a ________ proportion of the business.


There’s _________evidence that the accuser was involved in the crime.


A _______ number of pupils attended the seminar organised by the school.


I have ________ respect for people who keep to their words.


Everyone expected a _______ rain this morning.


Practicing spoken English everyday has resulted to a ______ improvement to my accent.


I can assure you, she spoke with ______emphasis, the figures are correct.


My sister got herself in _______ trouble.


The manager was stuck in________ traffic.


The contract was a _______ accomplishment for the company.


Vick was awarded scholarship because of her ________ skill in the field.


Tola was promoted as a result of her _______ devotion to the company.


A _______ number of our employees have post graduate diploma.


The defender put up a _______ resistance.


The news caused _______excitement among her friends and family.


Water covers a _______ portion of earth’s surface.


The man who died was known for his ________ wealth.


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