Are you making these collocation mistakes?

By Shivam Singh

If you are new here please read this first.

Hey there everyone,
How is your fluency going?
What?
Good.
It’s awesome then, but it breaks my heart when I see my dear readers, making mistakes while speaking or writing. And please don’t get me wrong, making a mistake is a part of the learning process, but correcting them is way more important than expanding your vocabulary or scaling up your fluency.
Thus, without further fuss, let get down to the job:
Pay close attention to the paragraph given below and find the mistakes from the context.
Let’s see how many of them you are able to observe.

Context (FIND THE MISTAKES?)

Mr. Johnson has a popular reputation in our society as a successful businessman. His presence made the atmosphere, as he arrived at the city film festival, which is organized by the management that consists of members from each area.
The management makes a short picture show every year with a theme and the funds raised from the tickets directly goes to NGOs that work in bad areas and some other noble causes. Unlike usual, they made a film and released it at the inauguration ceremony of the city film festival.
It came as a bolt from the blue when the audience didn’t like it at all. The funds put up from the festival were too less to serve.
The film was a very failure and simultaneously came a bad news for Mr. Johnson. The workers and employees did a strike, for company having old machines that didn’t work properly and were unsafe too.
All eyes were on Mr. Johnson now; the management expected some financial assistance from him. On the other hand, buying new machinery was definitely easier said than done because the company was already suffering the loss of millions and machinery was definitely not as cheap as buying a pizza.
With each hour passing, he was going into more trouble. Moreover, funding the NGOs was very vital for the development of bad areas, but at moment, Mr. Johnson was unwilling to fund. He didn’t give up and brought in some experts to look into whether the machines are risky or not. The results said that, though the machines were old, they were entirely safe.
The very well known belief that if you don’t give up, things start favoring you was true in this instance. Everything got well in the company, and Mr. Johnson, being a kind man funded the management.

List of Collocation mistakes non-natives usually make:

•    Popular reputation – Many of the non-natives make this mistake when they want to refer someone having a high status in the society. The correct phrase or collocation is ‘well-deserved reputation’, ‘considerable reputation’, ‘excellent reputation’. Even the words ‘good’ or ‘bad’ collocates with reputation, but not high.

•    made a nice atmosphere – I think it’s self-understandable that we do not make the atmosphere, we create it. So the right phrase is ‘create an atmosphere’.

•    Bad areas – use of the word ‘bad’ doesn’t make complete sense in this context. The right collocation is ‘run-down areas’ which means the areas that are in very bad condition.

•    Very failure – The word ‘very’ does not collocate with failure. The right collocation for this situation is ‘complete failure’ or  ‘dismal failure’ which means completely failed.

•    did strike – The right collocation is, ‘go on a strike’ or ‘call a strike‘. Even the word ‘stage’ collocates with the word ‘strike’, but the phrase ‘did a strike’ doesn’t sound natural.

•    Go into trouble – We never go into trouble, the right phrase is ‘run into trouble’.

•    Very vital – It is totally wrong when you say very vital. The word ‘very’ doesn’t collocate with vital. The right collocation for this situation is ‘absolutely vital’.

•    Machines are risky – Well, without beating around the bush, this sentence doesn’t compliment the context situation. I know some of you might say that it sounds correct and simple, but frankly speaking, this phrase doesn’t make the meaning clear. The right phrase to say is, ‘carry out the risk assessments’ which makes more sense and fits the context situation as well.

•    Well known belief – The right collocation for this situation is ‘widespread belief’ that refers to the belief common and known to everyone.

Now don’t tell me that you didn’t notice the expressions. Didn’t you?
I knew it.
So without even wasting a single second, let’s see what they mean and few example sentences.
Idiomatic Expression 1: a bolt from the blue
Meaning: a sudden or unexpected event.
Examples
•    The news of her grandfather’s death came as a bolt from the blue.
•    It came as a bolt from the blue when such a brilliant student like Josh failed in unit tests.
Idiomatic Expression 2: Easier said than done
Meaning: This is used when something is easy to say but very hard to do.
Examples
•    The trainer said to run 5km daily for fat loss. It’s easier said than done.
•    Doing 80 squats at once is easier said than done.
Idiomatic Expression 3: beat around the bush
Meaning: It means to avoid getting to the point.
Examples
•    Stop beating around the bush Jack, tell me what you want.
•    I don’t like beating around the bush, so let’s see the right context with the use of these right collocations and phrase.

Did you see how blended the upcoming sentence in the example?
I know you did:))

Context (With the use right collocations)

Mr. Johnson has a well-known reputation in our society as a successful businessman. His presence created the atmosphere, as he arrived at the city film festival, which is organized by the management that consists of members from each area.
The management makes a short picture show every year with a theme and the funds raised from the tickets directly goes to NGOs that work in run-down areas and some other noble causes. Unlike usual, they made a film and released it at the inauguration ceremony of city film festival.
It came as a bolt from the blue when the audience didn’t like it at all. The funds put up from the festival were too less to serve.
The film was a dismal failure and simultaneously came a bad news for Mr. Johnson. The workers and employees went on a strike, for company having old machines that didn’t work properly and were unsafe too.
All eyes were on Mr. Johnson now; the management expected some financial assistance from him. On the other hand, buying new machinery was definitely easier said than done because the company was already suffering the loss of millions and machinery was definitely not as cheap as buying a pizza.
With each hour passing, he was running into more trouble. Moreover, funding the NGOs was absolutely vital for the development of run-down areas, but at moment, Mr. Johnson was unwilling to fund. He didn’t give up and brought in some experts to carry out a risk assessment. The results said that, though the machines were old, they were entirely safe.
The widespread belief that if you don’t give up, things start favoring you was true in this instance. Everything got well in the company, and Mr. Johnson, being a kind man funded the management.

I hope all my dear readers would have found this article informative and easy to learn. Make sure you don’t make these mistakes down the line and add these collocations and phrases in your active vocabulary.
Lemme know how many mistakes you found in the earlier context and your views as well, down in the comment section.
Keep learning and improving.
See you soon.
Bye-bye.

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

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