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.
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.