Guide to Literary Terms Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

I need examples of collocations (words and the most common collocations for it).  Please give me some examples. A collocation is a word or phrase that naturally and frequently occurs before, after, or very near the target vocabulary item. For example the word waste, which means to use unwisely. In theory, any noun could follow the word waste, but the most common collocations for waste are money, recourses, time, or opportunity.

Examples of collocation include the word "bar" (which has associations with alcohol, a metal object, or even a test given to law students) as well as the words "bear," "draw," and "pay," all of which have strong associations with other words. Of course, examples will vary based on location and native language. 

Expert Answers info

Inuk Lee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write4,794 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The collocation of words is important to discuss, because the meaning of words change based on context. Let me give you an example of the word, "bar." In one sentence, it could mean a place where people go to get drinks. In another sentence, it can mean a thin metal object. Still in another sentence, it could mean the test that law students need to pass. The point is that the collocation of words determine the meaning of words. Context is key. With this point in mind, you will be well on your way to being a better reader and user of words. Some common collocations are:

abject + poverty

burden + of proof

You will be able to think of much more. Also I will add a study on this. Please read carefully, since there are many good examples of how langauge works.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

I would have to say that examples of colloation will vary from place to place among speakers of the English language.  So words that tend to be collocations in the USA might not be in England or Australia or India.  Since I am from the USA, mine will be in our version of English.

  • The word "bear" is typically collocated with "witness" -- to bear witness, or "burden."
  • "Draw" is often collocated with "conclusion" -- to draw a conclusion or "attention" -- to draw one's attention to something.
  • The word "pay" is often collocated with "attention" or "compliment" or "visit."

I hope those help.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

dnguha | Student

Collocation is the act or result of placing or arranging together, specifically a combination of two or more words or other linguistic elements that is well established by usage. It may also be a word or group of words that very often occur together.

The adjective "heavy" is collocated with "drinker","burden", "amount" etc. The word "threadbare"is presently collocated with the noun "discussion" to form an idiomotic expression. The verb "to fight" collocates with the phrases like "heart and soul" or "tooth and nail".