Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Oxford Collocations Dictionary

Collocation is an integral part of natural-sounding language. The way some words typically combine with others to form phrases is called "collocation". You can put any words you like together but if they don't "collocate", they won't sound natural.

For example, in Spanish we say "fuertes lluvias", which is translated into English as "heavy rain". Now, if you translate the Spanish phrase literally, you'd say "strong rains", which would sound odd (or funny) to a native speaker's ears!

To help with this important aspect of language, Oxford University Press published an excellent collocations dictionary which is currently in its second edition. It goes without saying that I am one of the proud owners of such dictionary.

If you want to learn more about the Oxford Collocations Dictionary, click on the picture below.

Do you use dictionaries on a regular basis?


  1. I usually use - the collocation dictionary online. It's really good and ads-free :-)

  2. I was examining yesterday (FCE) and I was surprised by how weak the students were regarding their vocabulary. It's as if they'd spent the last 10 years learning English grammar, that what they spoke was a form of English translated from their own language.

    There were a few excellent candidates towards the end, and what set them apart was that they'd picked up some spoken English collocations.

    The others spoke unnaturally, a kind of "Cz-english".

    So I agree - students really should spend far more time on collocations than grammar if they ever want to sound natural.