A collocation is a set of words that always come together. Meanwhile, collocations are simply almost a
range of two or three words used together in order to make a meaningful
expression that instantly understood by a language users. They are regular
fixed combinations of verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
It is usually
that one word may produce different collocations, however, each derived
collocation is not replaced by other word of the same set. Examples: Big
–Large –Great Here, we should abide by the collocation rules; so as the
structure and construction seems natural and not awkward. Thus, examples
of the natural collocations of the above
set as mentioned in Oxford Advanced Dictionary (2010:130) ” Big: Man –house
–car –boy –dog –smile –problem –surprise –question –difference . Large: Numbers
–part –area –room –company –eyes –family –volume –population .Other
examples include: Do: the dishes, laundry, good, harm, homework. Make: fortune,
mistake, appointment, friends, progress, money, noise, toast, sense.
of language such as collocations are not usually thoroughly studied ;
conversely , huge amount of study investigation has been devoted to
orthographic , grammatical , and phonological aspects of language . Thus , such
negligence of lexical aspects can lead non –native language learners to wrongly
relay their native language knowledge to their newly learned /acquired language
Explanation and Definition of Collocations:
Understanding and then translating collocation
cause some troubles to most non –native speakers ; it is clear when one or both
component words move from their primary sense . Barnwell (1980:55) explains ”
Collocation is concerned with the co –occurrence of words; with what other word
does a word usually occur? With what other words may it acceptably occur ?”. Maxwell and Heylen (1994:299) point out that
collocations consist of two elements ” the base and the collocate ” .They
further provide examples as (commit a crime ) , where the noun (crime
) is the base and the verb(commit ) is the collocate ; other
examples include:- commit suicide and commit a mistake. Firth , (1957 ) defines
collocations as ”the company words keep ” .He(ibid) observes ”meaning by
collocation is an abstraction at the syntagmatic level and is not directly
concerned with the conceptual or idea approach to the meaning of words ” . Meanwhile Palmer (1976:94) , agrees with
Firth above indicating collocations ”
You shall know a word by the company it keeps ” . that
For example, in English, we usually say ‘do my homework’. It’s
grammatically correct to say ‘answer my
homework’ or ‘write my homework’, but both of these seem completely strange. A native English speaker
would never say ‘answer my homework’.
The expression ‘do my homework’ sounds natural and native. Cowie (1981:224) defines collocation as ”a
composite unit which permits the substitutability of items for at least one of
its constituent elements (the sense of other elements or elements , remaining constant
It’s hard and
demanding task to list all collocations,
because there are very numerous. Actually ,
almost every word in English has other words that it usually goes with.
Leech (1974:20) introduces what he terms as
”collocative meaning which consists of the associations a
word acquires on account of the meaning
of words which tend to occur in its environment”.
Cruise , (1986)
defines collocations as ” sequences of lexical items which habitually co
–occur , but which are nonetheless fully transparent in the sense that each
lexical constituent is also a semantic constituent ”.
Palmer in his
dictionary (1938: iv ) defines collocations as ” Successions of two or more
words the meaning of which can hardly be deduced from a knowledge of their
component words ” . He keeps giving more examples as: throw away, to say
the least of it, as a matter of fact, and give somebody up for lost.
defines collocations as ”The way in which words are found together
States that collocations are ” A group of words that occurs repeatedly i.e.
recurs in a language”
On the hand ,
Robins (1964:66) indicates collocations as ” The habitual association of a
word in a language with other particular words in sentences” .
Hunston , (2002
:12 ) confirms the meaning of collocations as: ” The statistical tendency
of words to co –occur ”.
In Wikipedia ,
the free encyclopedia site , collocation is defined as ”In a corpus
linguistics , a sequence of words or terms that co –occur more often than would
be expected by chance : In phraseology , collocation is a sub –type of phraseme
, an example of a phraseological collocation as propounded by Michael Haliday
‘is the expression strong tea’ . While the same meaning could conveyed by the roughly
equivalent ‘powerful tea’ this expression is considered incorrect by English