Advanced Collocations In English

One of the best ways to become more fluent in English is to learn “collocations”. Collocations are words which naturally go together, such as “pass an exam”, or “sports car”. When you know a collocation, you can speak more fluently, because you remember words in phrases.

There are different types of collocations. For example:

adjective and noun (“sunny day”)
verb and noun (“take an exam”)
noun and noun (“security guard”)
adverb and verb (“deeply regret”)
adverb and adjective (“well-dressed”)

Tip: When you learn a new word, also learn the words that go with it. So if you learn a new noun, learn the verb which goes with the noun.

Here are 25 advanced collocations that will help you go from intermediate to advanced level in English.

Adjective And Noun Collocations

global demand (how much demand there is for something in all countries)
“The global demand for oil has decreased in the last year”

full recovery (completely recover from an illness)
“He made a full recovery and was out of hospital in three days.”

sleepless night (when you can’t sleep at night)
“I spent a couple of sleepless nights worrying about the children.”

narrow escape (when you are very lucky)
“We had a narrow escape with that house. If we’d bought it, we’d have had huge problems.”

close contact (when you stay in touch with someone a lot)
“After he left his job, he stayed in close contact with his ex-manager.”

Verb And Noun Collocations

test positive / negative (when you get a positive / negative test result for an illness)
“Almost 1% of the population has tested positive for Covid.”

break the rules (when you do something illegal)
“She had a lot of fun breaking the rules at school.”

meet a target (when you reach your goals)
“The factory doesn’t always meet its productivity targets.”

pay a compliment (when you say nice things to someone)
“Lots of people paid her a compliment after her fantastic speech.”

lose count (not be able to count, because there have been so many)
“I’ve lost count of the number of people who have complained about your behaviour!”

Noun And Noun Collocations

business model (the type of business something is)
“Their business model is based on selling a lot at low prices.”

status symbol (something you buy to show your status / wealth)
“He only bought a sports car as a status symbol.”

conspiracy theory (when people believe there is a secret “plot”)
“Don’t believe what you see on Facebook – there are a lot of conspiracy theories about!”

market leader (a company or product which is the most popular in its category)
“They quickly became the market leader in personal computers.”

opinion poll (a survey to find out what people think)
“They carried out an opinion poll to see which political party was the most popular.”

Adverb And Verb Collocations

deeply regret
“He deeply regretted what he’d said.”

greatly admire
“I greatly admire anyone who can combine a career with a family.”

thoroughly approve (approve 100%)
“They thoroughly approve of what you’re doing.”

seriously doubt
“We seriously doubt whether we’ll be able to recover from this setback.”

totally agree (agree 100%)
“I totally agree with everything you’ve said.”

Adverb And Adjective Collocations

bitterly disappointed (very disappointed)
“He was bitterly disappointed at his exam results.”

conveniently located (located in a good position)
“The house is conveniently located for the shops.”

highly (un)likely
“It’s highly unlikely that we’ll have a holiday this year.”

seriously ill
“She’s seriously ill in hospital.”

widely available
“Aspirin is widely available in all chemists.”

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