Collocation in English Words

Today I came across the word, collocation, in a teaching English website. I don’t know for others but for me I just knew this word few years ago. When P’Vishnu introduced me a book of learning vocabulary of Cambridge press. I have been learning English for over 20 years. I still feel that my English is not professional English, especially spoken English. One of the reasons could be I don’t live in a country that English is a mother-toung language. And I don’t use a lot of English in my everyday life. In addition, I have few chances to practise with English native speakers. Although, now I’m living in a foreign country, and only English I can use to communicate with others, it’s still English as a second language. Thus, some have good English, some have bad English. Most of us use English based upon our first language. So, here we have many kinds of English, I call it as international English.

Back to collocation, in my schools (actually I wanna say, "in our schools,") I never heard or learned about collocation before. I believe Thai students (I mean from my environment) are famous at memorizing. In classroom, we learned English as a pirot learns to imitate humans’ voice. Many tons of English words were taught. We learned them one by one, not learn them from sentence. When we use them to build up a sentence, then our sentences become weird. Then, what is collocation? Collocation, in linguistics, is the way that some words occur regularly whenever another word is used (definition from Collin COBUILD), for example, we say "have dinner" not "have water". So, when we talk about collocation of vocabulary, it means we talk about word chunks, not a single word.

Learning English and its collocation helps learners develop English proficiency. Learners’ sentences ultimately are grammartically correct, meaningful and not weird.


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