Today, I want to talk about the power of learning English through collocations. Now, a collocation is simply two or more words that go together in a natural way. For example, when you compare do and make, we say things like "do a good job", "to do a good job", "he did a great job yesterday". Whereas, we "make a phone call", "make a phone call". And I imagine that, when you have learned this difference before, a teacher or a book might have explained the rules between when to use do and when to use make. But, in many cases, we can't explain when we use make and when we use do, by rules. Instead, it just is what it is. We say "he did a great job", we "make a phone call". It's just the way it is. And, again, these can't be explained by rules. Now, learning collocations and storing them in your memory means that you'll be able to speak more naturally, and you'll be able to speak more fluently, too. Because native speakers grew up internalizing collocations. They heard these word combinations over and over and over again. So, it just seems natural for them to say "did a great job" or "make a phone call". And, instead of thinking about grammar rules, when native speakers talk they just use this stored knowledge, and it just feels right to use collocations in the right way.
So, before we look at some more examples of collocations, my first tip is just to get lots of input. And I talked about this in a recent article called "The Power of Input". Now, after this lesson, I want you to watch that, but the idea is that, as you see lots of sentences in English, you're going to store these in your memory and be able to use them naturally when speaking. And the same is true of collocations. The more collocations you see, the more collocations you listen to when listening to podcasts, or read when you're reading books, the more you'll just be able to use them naturally and fluently, and you won't have to think about this too much. So, read lots of English and listen to lots of English. But, you could also be more specific with this by focusing on collocations. And I think this is a really good thing to do, if you want to sound more natural when speaking English. So, look up common collocations. Find examples of these collocations. And also find collocations that are going to be specific to you. What I mean by this is, if you love speaking about football or soccer in everyday English, then learn collocations that are specific to this subject. Learn things like football team, football stadium, score a goal, make a save, own goal, second half, first half, final whistle. In fact, before we go on, let's just have a little test. All I want you to do is to complete the sentence. I haven't something a goal in a long time. I haven't something a goal in a long time. I haven't scored a goal in a long time. You might hear people say, "I haven't made a goal in a long time." And, when somebody says this to me, I more or less understand what they're trying to say, but to sound more natural you say "score a goal", instead of "made a goal". And, again, learning these collocations are going to help you sound more natural when speaking. Over the coming weeks and months, I'm going to make lessons which give you common collocations related to different topics. So, what I want you to do is to let me know which topics you want me to cover. And you can also learn collocations by taking a word and learning the collocations with that word. For example, have. There are many collocations that use the word have. Have a good time, this is a really good one to know. Have a good time, have a great trip, have a fantastic meal. You can also have a word with somebody, which means to talk to them about something specific, usually something that is bothering them. So, I need to have a word with you about this. You can also have a think, to have a think. I need to have a think about it, I need to take my time. I need to take my time and have a think about this situation. Now, you can learn collocations on your own by looking up common collocations in English. Because, instead of trying to think what is right to say, you will feel what is right to say, and it will just come out naturally and instantly without you having to translate word for word. And, in fact, translating word for word doesn't work well when it comes to natural English. Instead, you should look at common collocations in English and translate that collocation into something similar in your own language. Or just know the definition and internalize this just in English. And, if you have enjoyed this lesson, if you have found it useful, share it with your friends or somebody who you think will find it useful. And while you're here, why not read another article of mine. Just click one of these articles here and continue learning with me. Thank you for reading.