Words index Vivian Cook
Stuff and Nonsense: Collocations with and
Some words are often found together in pairs and trios and so on, technically known as collocations. One kind consists of two words joined with an and. Complete the following pairs with and. Answers are below.
the quick and the
These and combinations are so predictable and common we take them for granted. They illustrate another way in which English phrases have meanings that are distinct from the words taken separately; black by itself and blue by itself do not add up to the phrase black and blue meaning badly bruised, even if sometimes they can be used literally The magazine cover is black and blue. The meaning of pins and needles cannot be worked out by adding pins to needles. You can of course combine almost any two meanings with and to get a new phrase but it wont mean more than the sum of its two parts, as we see when we change the vocabulary of familiar phrases.
hue and fly
pins and scissors
touch and see
huffed and stuffed
skin and hide
black and pink
Some and phrases repeat a word with more or less the same meaning in a semi-rhyming way: kith and kin, huffed and puffed, time and tide. Sometimes the words have a close meaning relationship: bread and butter or skin and bone. At other times they are opposites: off and on, in sickness and in health or thick and thin. Many show the two-beat stress pattern common since Old English, found for instance in titles of books and films, War and Peace, The Dark Knight, Gone with the Wind, Mama Mia, etc.
Research by vocabulary experts Dongkwang Shin and Paul Nation has shown that overall the top ten collocations in English are: you know, I think, a bit, always used to, as well, a lot of (Noun), (Number) pounds, thank you, (Number) years, in fact.
opposites blends compounds
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