English vocabulary advanced: Big English collocations list

September 24th, 2018 / English vocabulary

The big list of collocations ESL/EFL teaching

English vocabulary class

What’s the difference between ‘to make’ and ‘to do’? Well, ‘to make’ is for things that you create such as ‘to make a cake’ and ‘to do’ is for activities such as ‘to do exercise.’ This is the theory anyway. In reality there are so many exceptions to this rule that it is better to learn a list of words that go with each verb.

‘To take a photo’, or ‘to make a phone call, appointment or decision’ are called collocations. Collocations are verb + noun or verb + adjective combinations that make an expression. They are one of the keys to learning to speak English well.

Collocations are made from common verbs such as ‘to be’, ‘to have’ and ‘to make.’ If you learn then you will dramatically improve your English because you will be able to say hundreds of different expressions.

This list has been compiled over my five years of teaching and includes over 80 collocations. . To make things extra easy, you’ll can download a PDF of the list below to study in your own time. Enjoy!

Collocations download:  colocations_biliguanation


The big list of collocations

To be

To be scared.

To be in a hurry.

To be hot/cold.


To do

To do homework.

To do housework.

To do a job.

To do your best.

To do research.

To do an investigation.

To do the shopping.

To do the dishes.

To do the washing.


To make

To make sense.

To make progress.

To make an appointment

To make the bed.

To make a change.

To make a choice.

To make a decision.

To make a discovery.

To make a fortune.

To make an arrangement.

To make a list.

To make a noise.

To make a living.

To make a mistake.

To make a phone call.

To make a promise.

To make a request.

To make a speech.

To make an announcement.

To make an effort.

To make trouble.

To make an offer.

To make an excuse.

To make an impression.

To make a pact.

To make a reservation.


To give

To give someone a hand.

To give an example

To give a kiss.

To give a hug.

To give someone a fright.


To go

To go bad

To go bankrupt

To go broke

To go bald

To go blind

To go deaf

To go mouldy

To go lame

To go wrong

To go on strike

To go out of date

To go viral


To have

To have a good time.

To have food and drink (breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee)

To have a party.

To have an argument.

To have an affair.


to pay

To pay a visit.

To pay attention.


To take

To take place.

To take into account.

To take for granted, to assume.

To take a look.

To take charge.

To take turns.

To take an order.

To take a risk.

To take for granted.

To take something seriously.

To take a photo.

To take a day off.

To take a day off sick.


To tell

To tell the time.

To tell a secret.

To tell a joke.

To tell a lie.

To be able to tell.


More collocations

To call a meeting.

To run a company.

To go on a diet.

To go on strike.

To take an exam.

To commit a crime.

To bring up a subject.

To show a film.

To ask a question.

To run a bath.


For more advanced English grammar and vocabulary, have a look at our advanced English courses. 


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