Study Collocations

Collocations, Not Vocabulary

A collocation is a set phrase in a language that is often said but might not always be so intuitive. In other words, it might not be so easy to guess without having heard it before.

Don’t Study Vocabulary Lists

This is a controversial statement, but if you think about it, it makes sense.


English (or any language) is not just a series of words. It’s a series of phrases.


It’s much better to learn the phrase “I need to take a shower”, rather than learning all the words individually and trying to think which ones fit best.


“Take” is not an obvious choice for this sentence, so if you didn’t know this collocation, you would probably never guess to use “take”!


This is the best way to speed up your English speaking and stop pausing.

Collocation Examples

  • To fall in love – To develop feelings of love for someone

  • To face the truth – To accept reality

  • To come clean – To tell the truth and stop lying

  • To stretch the truth – To exagerrate what happened

  • To take issue with something – To have a problem with something

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5 thoughts on “#33 Study Collocations, Not Vocabulary”

  1. Maritza Guerrero

    I love your podcasts. I live 10 years in Uk and sometimes it’s so difficult to understand many accents. I started to understand many things I was struggle to say. Thanks!!

  2. Hello Michael!! I agree to you about collocations, it’s Always better to learn a Language using Whole phrases rather than single words, like in any other Language as well. But every Language has the own collocations, so it’s a bit hard to guess or understand when you listen someone, for the first time, saying a collocations, and you have to understand the context of the phrase for better understanding.
    See you soon.

    1. Hi Giuseppe! Thanks for the comment. Yes I agree with you. Collocations can be harder to learn because they often don’t translate like individual words do. My advice would be to use an online dictionary to find example sentences whenever you come across a new word.
      See you!

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