Beyond grammar.

A tough time for teachers of advanced learners.

Many advanced level learners find it difficult to choose between seemingly similar language items. The teacher's role as guide is often made easier by reference to concordancers and getting students to notice which items commonly collocate.

Here are some of the main collocations that appear with the, often synonymous, words sheer and pure. Which collocates do you think could easily be used with either adjective?

1. sheer adventurism
2. sheer ambition
3. sheer bastard
4. sheer beauty
5. sheer bravado
6. sheer burden
7. sheer delight
8. sheer desperation
9. sheer drive 15
10. sheer elegance
11. sheer enormity
12. sheer fact
13. sheer force and energy
14. sheer f*cking terror
15. sheer good fortune
16. sheer hell
17. sheer power
18. sheer physical
19. sheer plumpness
20. sheer prestige
21. sheer primeaval force and energy
22. sheer seizure of land
23. sheer size
24. sheer speed
25. sheer, unalloyed listening pleasure 39
26. sheer vitality and power
27. sheer volume
28. sheer weight of numbers
29. sheer xenophobia


a. pure mixture
b. pure and innocent
c. pure research
d. pure and elevated
e. pure and lovely
f. pure and simple
g. pure intellect
h. entirely pure
i. becomes pure
j. the result of pure chance
k. very pure
l. pure failure
m. pure water
n. pure confabulations
o. pure consciousness
p. pure deep blue sky 23
q. pure sound
r. pure design
s. pure emotion of fear
t. pure Essential Oils
u. pure face
v. pure fantasy
w. pure feeling 31
x. pure form
y. pure formalism
z. pure forms
aa. pure friendship
bb. Pure Gentle Hairspray
cc. pure grain
dd. pure heart
ee. to keep pure?
ff. pure idealist
gg. pure spirit
hh. leave it pure
ii. the pure kind
jj. "pure" education
kk. pure life
ll. pure luxury too
mm. remain pure
nn. pure materialism
oo. Pure Mathematics
pp. pure monopoly
qq. pure movement
rr. pure of additives
ss. pure pain
tt. pure peace and tranquillity
uu. pure pink
vv. pure pleasure
ww. pure poetry
xx. pure reagents
yy. pure reason
zz. pure science
aaa. pure sensationalism
bbb. pure slapstick
ccc. pure specialist
ddd. pure sex
eee. pure theatre
fff. pure utterance