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Collocation is the term used to describe the tendency for one language item to occur in the same sentence as another language item, usually in the context of a corpus of the language.

Example:

crime collocates with words such as violent, inner-city, increase, rate, as in:

  • Violent crime is a growing problem.
  • There has been an increase in crime in the town center.
  • Crime is not just an inner-city issue.
  • Crime rates have fallen slightly this month.


Collocations show the ways a word is used in the “real-world”. All the examples above are possible uses, but only the first set are common.

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