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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    phrase/expression/collocation

    Are the words phrase/expression/collocation synonyms? Are they interchangeable?
    I think that 'to go for a walk', for example, can be called either 'a phrase' or 'an expression' or 'a collocation'. Am I right?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Are the words phrase/expression/collocation synonyms? Are they interchangeable?
    No and no. Those terms are used to for different purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post

    I think that 'to go for a walk', for example, can be called either 'a phrase' or 'an expression' or 'a collocation'. Am I right?
    Yes.

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    #3

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    Ask Are the words "phrase", "expression", and "collocation" synonyms? It's important to separate words and phrases you're discussing from those that are part of your own text. I've used double quotes, which is the usual American usage, but you can also use single quotes or italics.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    No and no. Those terms are used to for different purposes.


    Yes.
    Sorry, teechar, I didn't get it, you say 'no' and then you say 'yes'.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    You asked three questions in post #1. Teechar gave the three responses to those three questions.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You asked three questions in post #1. Teechar gave the three responses to those three questions.
    But I can't make it out how it can be that 'to go for a walk' can be called either 'a phrase' or 'an expression' or 'a collocation', and yet these words are not interchangeable.

    As far as I understand 'a phrase' and 'an expression' are almost complete synonyms, right?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    But I can't make it out how it can be that 'to go for a walk' can be called either 'a phrase' or 'an expression' or 'a collocation', and yet these words are not interchangeable.
    I don't follow your logic here!
    E.g.,
    Jesus was a man.
    Jesus was a Jew.
    Jesus was a pacifist.
    Are the words in blue interchangeable?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    As far as I understand 'a phrase' and 'an expression' are almost complete synonyms, right?
    No. "Phrase" is a grammatical structure.

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    #8

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    I use phrase very loosely to mean any word or string of words that can in some way be recognised as a unit of lexis. (Not just in the grammatical sense of verb phrases and noun phrases, etc.)

    I don't really use the word expression at all when teaching (or talking about teaching). Many teachers would instead use the terms 'idiom' or '(semi-)fixed phrase', depending on the case.

    Collocation is the instance of words frequently occurring together. For example, the phrase for a walk will often be preceded by the verb go, so we can call this a 'collocation' of verb phrase and preposition phrase.

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: phrase/expression/collocation

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I use phrase very loosely to mean any word or string of words that can in some way be recognised as a unit of lexis. (Not just in the grammatical sense of verb phrases and noun phrases, etc.)

    I don't really use the word expression at all when teaching (or talking about teaching). Many teachers would instead use the terms 'idiom' or '(semi-)fixed phrase', depending on the case.

    Collocation is the instance of words frequently occurring together. For example, the phrase for a walk will often be preceded by the verb go, so we can call this a 'collocation' of verb phrase and preposition phrase.
    Then with the meaning of "expression" you've described, we can't say that "to go for a walk" is an expression, because it is not an idiom, right?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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