Words index Vivian Cook
and Nonsense: Collocations
Some words are often found together in
pairs and trios and so on, technically known as
collocations. One kind consists of two words joined with an and.
Complete the following pairs with and.
Answers are below.
and combinations are so predictable
and common we take them for granted. They illustrate another way in which
English phrases have meanings that are distinct
from the words taken separately; black by
itself and blue by itself do not add
up to the phrase black and blue meaning
badly bruised, even if sometimes
they can be used literally The magazine
cover is black and blue. The meaning of pins and needles cannot be worked out by adding pins
to needles. You can of course combine almost any two meanings
with and to get a new phrase but it
wont mean more than the sum of its two parts, as we see when we change the
vocabulary of familiar phrases.
pins and scissors touch
huffed and stuffed skin and hide black and pink
and phrases repeat a word with more or
less the same meaning in a semi-rhyming way: kith
and kin, huffed and puffed, time and tide. Sometimes the words have a close meaning
relationship: bread and butter or
skin and bone. At other times they are opposites:
off and on, in sickness and in health
or thick and thin. Many show the
two-beat stress pattern common since Old English, found for instance in titles
of books and films, War and Peace, The Dark Knight, Gone
with the Wind, Mama Mia, etc.
by vocabulary experts Dongkwang Shin and Paul Nation has shown that overall the
top ten collocations in English are: you
know, I think, a bit, always used to, as well, a lot of (Noun), (Number) pounds,
thank you, (Number) years, in fact.
opposites blends compounds