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Collocations: Word pairs

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There is a saying which goes like that: Show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are. You understand of course that this quote refers to personality and to how it is mirrored by our friendships.

But since most of us here are language lovers and like playing with the words, I’d like to change this quote a little bit into show me your pair and I’ll tell you what you are! And there’s a high chance that you might be a collocation. In English, there are some words which are best friends forever and ever and ever. And whatever you do, you can neither change their relationship nor put anything else between them. These are called collocations, and they always come in a certain order. So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a look at some of them.


pair of pears

Peace and quiet

Imagine that you’re floating on a beautiful and serene pool. Your whole body is relaxed and your ears are covered by water. Every single noise fades away and the whole world becomes quiet for a while. How do you feel? Tranquil? Relaxed? Peaceful? If the answer is yes, then you have found some peace and quiet. In other words, peace and quiet means lack of noise and stress.
Can you tell him to stop yelling? I need some peace and quiet.

Sick and tired

We've all experienced situations that are stressful and demanding and reached a point when we said we’d had enough. In other words, we were sick and tired and didn’t want to deal with them any longer. To be sick and tired of someone or something means that you are fed up and don’t want to be involved with a person or in a situation any more.
I'm sick and tired of John’s rude behaviour.

Ups and downs

What’s your attitude towards life today? Do you feel wonderful and optimistic? Or is it one of those days you feel everything is awful and are not in the mood to work, study, meet anyone or do anything? Well, whatever the answer, it’s OK; everyone has their ups and downs. Life is full of both bad and good things or, in other words, of ups and downs.
Being married for 10 years, we've certainly had our ups and downs as a couple.

Ice and lemon

OK, that’s an easy one! We know ice and we know lemon! We just have to put them together like this and we’ll have the perfect combination to add in a lovely summer drink!
I’ll have a gin and tonic with ice and lemon!

Thunder and lightning

thunder lightning

Imagine that there’s a storm outside. You are inside your cozy house, sitting comfortably in your couch, wrapped up with a warm blanket, looking outside of your window. And there you see it; a flash of lightning. Soon you will hear the loud noise of thunder, as you know that these two go together. The same happens in language, but vice versa!
There was lots of thunder and lightning during the storm, so I didn’t feel like going out.

I hope you found English collocations interesting and fun! Are there any more that you particularly like and use? Or any that you totally hate and find confusing? Feel free to share them below with your comments or thoughts!