Collocation refers to a phrase or small group of words used together in normal speech with restrictions not explicitly imposed by grammar. Quite an odd concept, but vitally important to language learning. Correct use of collocation is probably the best way to identify a native speaker from a near native speaker.

I bring this up now because Julia made a wonderful example of an incorrect collocation for English. She came up with the phrase “two and a half hundred”. In English you can say “two and half thousand” and “two and half million” but for some reason it doesn’t work with hundreds (it does in Finnish incidentally).

Finnish, linguistics, collocation

4 thoughts on “Collocation

  1. Make sure you’re not logged in as me when you post – you confused the hell out of me πŸ˜›

    Somebody pointed out to me it is more acceptable in American English though so I suppose I could let you off…


  2. It’s your own fault for making my laptop remember your name and password. πŸ˜›
    And I thought I had written my own name and e-mail address etc…


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