Tetiana Domaratska

Kamianets-Podilskyi Ivan Ohiienko National University

Scientific Supervisor: PhD, Kryshtaliuk A. A.


The article deals with the structure of collocations and their features. The article shows the use of collocations based on magazine articles.

Keywords: collocation, structure, feature, use, magazine article.

The study of collocations dates back to the works of J. R. Firth and M. A. K. Halliday [1, с.14]. The Longman Online Dictionary provides the following interpretation of the term collocation: the way in which some words are often used together, or a particular combination of words used in this way [5].

Linguists narrow down the concept of collocation to syntagmatic lexical sequences, leaving aside phrasal (or propositional) lexical sequences (proverbs, sayings, catch phrases, slogans). Interpreting collocations as syntactically limited lexical interoperability of multiple elements that support syntactic communication, linguists take into account two aspects: these syntactically fused units follow a certain order of component sequencing and are not syntactically transformed, they are syntactically limited [2].

According to Hausmann the item whose meaning is not changed after it is collocated is called base, and the other item which is selected by the base, is called collocate. In a collocation, base chooses collocate not vice versa, and meaning of base is dominating collocated words [3].

In this way, following the correct, unbroken internal order of the components, irrespective of the place in the sentence or in the discourse, collocation can be determined following F.J. Hausmann, as a combination of two words that forms one of such syntactic structures [2]:

(1) Verb + noun

to give a lecture

But when he turned up to give a lecture in Hamburg last week, he found himself being heckled by students as a “Nazi pig” and pelted with paper balls, eventually leaving under a police escort [7, c. 16]. In this example, and in the ones below, we see how collocations are used in magazine articles. We can define the base and the collocator. A lecture is a base, because we can say to reference, cite, retell a lecture. A verb is a collocator.

(2) Noun + verb

snow is falling

And right now the Regent Street store is in overdrive: “fake snow is falling and a hyperactive elf is hopping around, geeing up the crowd” [4, c. 48].  We can give such synonyms: snow (base) is coming, melting (collocators).

(3) Adjective + noun

high temperatures

Fusion reactions only occur at very high temperatures and pressures [8, c. 11]. The temperature (base) can be low, normal, extreme, negative (collocators).

(4) Verb + adverb

spread rapidly

British colonial officers had introduced mesquite trees in the 19th century, and

they had spread rapidly, swallowing pastures and roads and villages – everything that had been there before [9, c. 48].  We can combine the word spread (base) with the words swiftly, quickly (collocators) depending on the context.

(5) Adverb + adjective

beautifully anchored

It’s more than a visual delight, though: on the night I saw it, the show was beautifully anchored by Agatha Meehan’s performance (in an alternating role) as Dorothy [6, c. 29].   We can also say that the show was badly and unsuccessfully or greatly and perfectly (collocators)  anchored (base).

Thus, we need to follow the order in the structure to use collocations correctly. It is advisable to use collocation dictionaries to know when and how to use collocations. The prospect of further research is to study approaches of collocation formation (functional, semantic, syntactic, pragmatic, lexical).


  1. Бобкова Т. В. Теоретико-методологічні підходи до вивчення колокацій у сучасному мовознавстві. Вісник Київського національного лінгвістичного університету. Сер.: Філологія. 2014. Т. 17. № 2. С. 14-22.
  2. Гладка В.А. Структурно-синтаксичний підхід у вивченні колокацій (на матеріалі французької мови) Науковий блог Національний університет “Острозька академія” : веб-сайт. URL: (дата звернення 16.02.2020).
  3. Daban Q. Jaff Collocation in English Language : веб-сайт. URL: (дата звернення 18.02.2020).
  4. Darshan Mehta The Week UK, 21/12/2019, p.48
  5. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: веб-сайт. URL:https://www. (дата звернення 04.02.2020).
  6. “Musical: The Wizard of Oz” The Week UK, 14/12/2019, p.29
  7. 7. “Not a Nazi pig but a freemarket liberal” The Week UK, 26/10/2019, p.16
  8. “Nuclear fusion: energy’s Holy Grail” The Week UK, 21/12/2019, p.11
  9. “The jungle prince of Delhi” The Week UK, 28/12/2019, p.48