The problems non-native speakers may have with English vocabulary use - in particular with the appropriate combinations of words. This is an aspect of language called collocation. An example of collocation that many learners of English may be familiar with is the different adjectives that are used to describe a good-looking man and a good-looking woman. We talk of a beautiful woman and of a handsome man, but rarely of a beautiful man or a handsome woman. A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These combinations just sound "right" to native English speakers, who use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations may be unnatural and just sound "wrong". Look at these examples: Natural English...| Unnatural English...|
the fast train
fast food| the quick train
a quick shower
a quick meal| a fast shower
a fast meal|
Types of Collocation
There are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb, noun, adjective etc. Some of the most common types are: 1. Adverb + Adjective: completely satisfied (NOT downright satisfied) 2. Adjective + Noun: excruciating pain (NOT excruciating joy) 3. Noun + Noun: a surge of anger (NOT a rush of anger) 4. Noun + Verb: lions roar (NOT lions shout)
5. Verb + Noun: commit suicide (NOT undertake suicide) 6. Verb + Expression With Preposition: burst into tears (NOT blow up in tears) 7. Verb + Adverb: wave frantically (NOT wave feverishly) How to learn collocations
* Be aware of collocations, and try to recognize them when you see or hear them. * Treat collocations as single blocks of language. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks, and learn strongly support, not strongly + support. * When you learn a new word, write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightly, remember distinctly, remember vaguely, remember vividly). * Read as much as possible. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally. * Revise what you learn regularly. Practice using new collocations in context as soon as possible after learning them. * Learn collocations in groups that work for you. You could learn them by topic (time, number, weather, money, family) or by a particular word (take action, take a chance, take an exam). * You can find information on collocations in any good learner's dictionary. And you can also find specialized dictionaries of collocations. B. Sense Relations
Sense relations are therefore the relationships between meaning of words, in either their similarity or contrast in a language. It (Sense relations) is used in lexical semantics to describe the relationship between terms (words), as Semantics largely deals with word meaning. The relations which most language teachers encounter with the greatest frequency in day-to-day teaching are synonymy, antonymy, and hyponymy. 1. Synonymy
Synonymy is the relationship between two words that have the same sense. This is a strict definition of synonymy – the identity of sense. Some linguists, however, consider synonymy a similarity of meaning. At least one meaning identical
You have my deep / profound sympathy.
The lake is deep / profound.
She speaks with a very wide / broad Scottish accent.
The river is very broad / wide at this point
Most often, synonyms share at least one meaning, while with the change of context, they both change their meaning, and lose their referential identity with the other member of the pair. 2. Antonymy
Antonymy is a sense relation in which oppositeness of meaning is observed. * Types of Antonyms :
Contraries display a type of semantic contrast, illustrated by such pairs as rich and poor. Contraries are gradable, and the semantic contrast in a contrary pair is relative; i.e. there are often intermediate terms between the...