Collocations em InglêsVocabulário de Inglês

Learning Collocations and Collocations with Coffee

There are lots of possible combinations of words in English, right? So, the questions is “how can you learn collocations? What words do you have to pay attention to first? How can you get started?”
The first thing to know about learning collocations is that you’ll never learn everything. Consequently, there will always be something new to learn. In my opinion, that’s actually the best thing about collocations. The main point is that you never get bored with it.Anyway, how can you get started? I usually tell teachers and students that they have to pay attention to the most common words in English. Then, they have to find as many words as they can which naturally combine [collocate] with the chosen word.For example, let’s say the chosen word is ‘coffee‘. Then, think about words that combine [collocate] with ‘coffee‘. You can think of combinations in your first language. Being Portuguese mine, we’ll have: ‘beber café‘, ‘tomar café‘, ‘fazer café‘, ‘preparar café‘, ‘derramar café no chão‘, ‘café instantâneo‘, café fresquinho‘, ‘café com leite‘, ‘café fraco‘, ‘café forte‘, ‘uma caneca de café‘, ‘uma xícara de café‘ and so on.

After that, I have to find the equivalences for these combinations of words [collocations] in English. A dictionary of collocations may really come in handy here. However, keep in mind that a dictionary won’t have everything. Try also a book on collocations.

Whichever you have, look up the word ‘coffee‘ and check the words that combine with it: “drink coffee” [beber café], “have coffee” [tomar café], “make coffee” [fazer/preparar café], “spill coffee on the floor” [derramar café no chão], “instant coffee” [café instantâneo], “fresh coffee” [café fresquinho], “milky coffee” [café com leite], “white coffee” [café com leite], “weak coffee” [café fraco], “strong coffee” [café forte], “a mug of coffee” [uma caneca de café], “a cup of coffee” [uma xícara de café].

This will surely help you to have the right words in the right moment. You’ll also know exactly what to say because you’ll have the right combination of words [collocation] and won’t have to stumble for words so often. That all means better fluency in English!

If you speak Portuguese [or are learning Portuguese] you’ll learn a huge of collocations in the book “Combinando Palavras em Inglês: seja fluente em inglês aprendendo collocations” [Ed. Elsevier/Campus]. Well, that’s it for today! See ya tomorrow.

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