List of Most Common Collocations in English

A word or phrase that is often used with another word or phrase, in a way that sounds correct to people who have spoken the language all their lives.

For example:

  • Make the bed= I am going to make my bed
  • Do the homework= I am gonna do my homework
  • Take a risk = She has to take a risk

It is important to use collocations because

  • They will help you understand how to use vocabulary words in a sentence correctly.
  • Your language will be more natural and more easily understood.
  • These will contribute to you having a richer vocabulary.

How Can I Learn more Collocations?

There are thousands of collocations and it impossible to know them all.

Most students don’t take time to memorize them since learning as you read and listen to English in common situations is easier than going through a list.

Another approach that can help you learn more collocation is studying them by topic.

What Type of Collocations are there?

There are 7 types of collocations made from combinations of verbs, nouns and adjectives:

  • adverb + adjective: Fully Aware
  • adjective + noun: Regular Exercise
  • noun + noun: Ceasefire Agreement
  • noun + verb: Plane took off
  • verb + noun: Commit Murder
  • verb + expression with preposition: Run out of Gas
  • verb + adverb: Whisper Softly

These are example of collocation used in sentences:

  • I found a replacement
  • She wants to make money
  • I am going to close the deal

Are Collocations Phrasal Verbs?

Phrasal verbs are not collocations since phrasal verbs are made up of a verb + a preposition which usually changes the meaning from that of the original verb.

For example:

  • I bought a bunch of flowers for you = Collocation
  • You should buy into this company = Phrasal Verb

List of Most Common Collocations

These are the most common collocations, they have been divided by the verb they usually to make learning them easier.

#1 Collocations with Have and Do

These are some of the most common collocations in English with have and do

have a bathdo business
have a drinkdo nothing
have a good timedo someone a favour
have a haircutdo the cooking
have a holidaydo the housework
have a problemdo the shopping
have a relationshipdo the washing up
have a restdo your best
have lunchdo your hair
have sympathydo your homework

#2 Collocations with Take and Break

These are some of the most common collocations in English with Take and Break

take a breakbreak a habit
take a chancebreak a leg
take a lookbreak a promise
take a restbreak a record
take a seatbreak a window
take a taxibreak someone’s heart
take an exambreak the ice
take notesbreak the law
take someone’s placebreak the news to someone
take someone’s temperaturebreak the rules

#3 Collocations with Pay and Save

These are some of the most common collocations in English with pay and save

pay a finesave electricity
pay attentionsave energy
pay by credit cardsave money
pay cashsave one’s strength
pay interestsave someone a seat
pay someone a complimentsave someone’s life
pay someone a visitsave something to a disk
pay the billsave space
pay the pricesave time
pay your respectssave yourself the trouble

#4 Collocations with Come and Go

These are some of the most common collocations in English with come and go

come closego abroad
come complete withgo astray
come directgo bad
come earlygo bald
come firstgo bankrupt
come into viewgo blind
come lastgo crazy
come latego dark
come on timego deaf
come preparedgo fishing
come right backgo mad
come secondgo missing
come to a compromisego on foot
come to a decisiongo online
come to an agreementgo out of business
come to an endgo overseas
come to a standstillgo quiet
come to terms withgo sailing
come to a total ofgo to war
come under attackgo yellow

#5 Collocations with Make and Keep

These are some of the most common collocations in English with make and keep

make a differencekeep a diary
make a messkeep a promise
make a mistakekeep a secret
make a noisekeep an appointment
make an effortkeep calm
make furniturekeep control
make moneykeep in touch
make progresskeep quiet
make roomkeep someone’s place
make troublekeep the change

#6 Collocations with Catch and Get

These are some of the most common collocations in English with catch and get

catch a ballget a job
catch a busget a shock
catch a chillget angry
catch a coldget divorced
catch a thiefget drunk
catch fireget frightened
catch sight ofget home
catch someone’s attentionget lost
catch someone’s eyeget married
catch the fluget nowhere

Interested in Additional Resources?

Check some of these resources before you leave

These are some additional resources to help you learn more about collocation such as list, worksheets, quizzes and dictionaries.

  1. The Academic Collocation List
  2. Collocations Worksheets
  3. Collocations Quiz
  4. Another Collocation Quiz
  5. Online Collocation Dictionary
Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English