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  Weekly Feature (November 6, 2004)

Collocations: Word Pairs



Collocations are words that usually are used together by native English speakers. Each word in the collocation keeps its own meaning. Collocations can consist of an adjective and a noun, a verb and a noun, a verb and an adverb, a noun and a verb or even a noun and a noun.

Here are some collocations that you will find useful to learn. Then, you can test yourself with a quiz.

1. feel free: go ahead and do something

When you are staying here, feel free to make yourself a snack.

2. feel funny: feel a little bit sick or feel uncomfortable

I feel funny about accepting that free weekend at Whistler from your boss.

After I ate sushi, I felt funny.

3. take a look:  read or consider something quickly; especially in order to decide what to do

Do you mind taking a look at my essay to see if it is on topic?

4. break a habit: stop doing something that you have done regularly for a long time, often something harmful

Sid has been trying to break the habit of smoking whenever he has a cup of coffee.

5. keep quiet: avoid complaining, telling a secret or causing problems

The man we work with had been stealing money from the company for years, but we kept quiet about it.

6. keep (something or someone) in mind: remember a fact or piece of information, especially because it might be useful in the future

The boss said he would keep me in mind when a job opening comes up.

7. keep the change:  donít give back any money that has been overpaid, perhaps as a tip or because the amount is so small

We had included the tip in our payment at the restaurant, so we told the waiter to keep the change.

8. out of control:  impossible to guide or direct; in a rage

The dog went out of control when the child took its ball.

The car hit the ice and went out of control.

Fill-in-the-Blank Quiz on Collocations

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