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sâmbătă, 25 octombrie 2008

English Collocations (IV) – Register

Often, collocations rather than individual words suggest a particular register. For example, phrases using pretty meaning fairly sound informal when used with negative adjectives (pretty awful, pretty dreadful, pretty dull), and are typical of spoken English.

A. Spoken English

I’m bored stiff in this lesson! (extremely bored)
You badly need a haircut!
I’ll have a think about it and let you know.
Give me a ring when you get home. (give me a phone call)

B. Formal English

Passengers must not alight from the bus whilst it is in motion. (get off the bus)
Cyclist must dismount here. (get off their bicycles)
Trespassers will be prosecuted. (peope whi go onto someone’s land or enter their building without permission will be taken to court)
Please dispose of unwanted items in the receptacle provided. (throw away; container used for storing or putting objects in)

C. Newspaper English

computer factory to axe jobs (make staff redundant)
airline slashes prices (cuts prices drastically)
government spending will rocket this year
police crack down on speeding (start dealing with it in a more severe way)
police quiz 16-year-old in murder enquiry (ask questions)

D. Business English

to submit a tender (present a document offering to do a job and stating the price)
to raise capital (get money to put into a business)
to go into partnership with someone (agree to start or run a business with someone)
to start up a business


1. Underline formal (F) or informal (I) collocations in these sentences (one per sentence) and put F or I in the brackets at the end.

Cyclists should dismount before crossing the footbridge.
Never dispose of batteries and similar items by throwing them onto fire.
The students were all bored stiff by the lecture.
Passengers must alight from the buss through the rear door.
The grass badly needs cutting.
Please place all used tickets in the receptacle provided as you leave the building.

2. Underline typical news/media collocations in these newspaper clips.

a) Oil companies slash Prices
There was good news for motorists today as pump prices were lowered by the major oil companies.

b) Detectives quiz businessman over missing teenager
Senior detectives interviewed a man who has been named as prime suspect in the case of a missing 18 year-old who is feared to have been abducted.

c) Floods hit central region
Towns and villages in the Central region were battling against floods tonight as heavy rain continued.

d) Car firm to axe 200 jobs
The Presco car firm has announced that 200 workers will be made redundant at its Kenton factory. The job losses are the result of falling profits.

3. Match the beginning of eatch sentence on the first column with its ending on the second column to make typical collocations used in business English.

We raised
They submitted
They went into
We started up

partnership to develop a new range of products.
capital to expand the business.
a business to supply sport equipment to schools.
a tender for the new stadium.

4. Choose a formal or informal collocation as instructed at the end of each sentence. Use a dictionary if necessary.

She was dead / extremely keen to meet the new director. (informal)
We should be boarding the aircraft / getting on the plane in about ten minutes. (formal)



cyclists should dismount (F)
dispose of batteries (F)
bored stiff (I)
alight from the bus (F)
badly needs cutting (I)
the receptacle provided (F)

slash prices
police quiz businessman
floods hit
axe 200 jobs
falling profits

We raised capital to expand the business.
They submitted a tender for the new stadium.
They went into partnership to develop a new range of products.
We started up a business to supply sports equipment to schools.

dead keen
boarding the aircraft
bore the cost of
dropped out of
embarked upon

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