Mini-teste: Collocations

Have you ever noticed how native English speakers use a host of other words where Brazilians use “very”? The word “very” is a general-purpose intensifier, but it shouldn’t be used in every case. Often there are other words that are more appropriate as intensifiers. These strong word associations are called “collocations”. For example, we can say that someone is “very” rich, or we can say that someone is “filthy” rich. In both cases the idea is the same (very rich). However, we can’t use “filthy” and “very” interchangeably; you can’t be “filthy” poor or “filthy” hungry. ‘Filthy’ and ‘rich’ naturally go together and form a strong collocation. Knowing and using these frequent and strong collocations is an important step forward in really using the language like a native English speaker.

Let’s see how well you know these common collocations. Match the intensifiers in column A with the words in column B.

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A B
(1) The hotels were outrageously (a) mad last night.
(2) Shoes are dirt (b) hot in July.
(3) He was dirt (c) wet.
(4) Mary was fuming (d) successful at the moment.
(5) I ordered a freezing (e) sorry.
(6) Arizona is burning (f) poor as a child.
(7) I’m late. I’m terribly (g) beautiful.
(8) His talk show is enormously (h) cold beer to cool off.
(9) The view from the top was breathtakingly (i) expensive in London.
(10) After the tennis game I was dripping (j) cheap in Mexico.

Some other common substitutes for “very” in English are:

Terribly

I’m terribly sorry to disturb you, but I need to ask you something.
She’s terribly busy right now.

Horribly

We were horribly late to the wedding.
Jack was horribly drunk when he got in last night.

Awfully

He seemed awfully interested in the proposal.
Jane is awfully nice to offer her beach house for the weekend.

Absolutely

Are you absolutely certain it was John who took the laptop?
I’m absolutely delighted with the new sound system.

Utterly

I’m utterly exhausted from the hike this morning.
What an utterly ridiculous thing to say!

Also: entirely, absolutely, astonishingly, frightfully, tremendously, extremely etc.

We are waiting for your participation. The 3 first to answer correctly will win a brand new book.

Update 03/08/2010

Answers:

1) i
2) j
3) f
4) a
5) h
6) b
7) e
8) d
9) g
10)c

Winners:

Rogerio (comment number 1 – 17:10)
Luis Fernando Jr (comment number 2 – 17:11)
Patrícia (comment number 5 – 17:14)

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Mark Nash

Mark G. Nash, canadense, reside no Brasil há quatorze anos. Formado em Teoria da Comunicação pela McGill University e Antropologia e Semiótica pela Trent University. Autor de 10 livros na área de linguística aplicada pelas editoras Melhoramentos (Michaelis) e Disal.

154 comentários

  • 03/08/10  
    Ygor Henrique diz: 1

    Hi…

    (1)->(i) The hotels were outrageously expensive in London.
    (2)->(j) Shoes are dirt cheap in Mexico.
    (3)->(f) He was dirt poor as a child.
    (4)->(a) Mary was fuming mad last night.
    (5)->(h) I ordered a freezing cold beer to cool off.
    (6)->(b) Arizona is burning hot in July.
    (7)->(e) I’m late. I’m terribly sorry.
    (8)->(d) His talk show is enormously successful at the moment.
    (9)->(g) The view from the top was breathtakingly beautiful.
    (10)->(c) After the tennis game I was dripping wet.

    thx’

  • 03/08/10  
    Andrea diz: 2

    1 – i
    2 – J
    3 – F
    4 – A
    5 – H
    6 – B
    7 – E
    8 – D
    9 – G
    10 – C

  • 03/08/10  
    Lara diz: 3

    1- i
    2- j
    3- f
    4- a
    5- h
    6- b
    7- e
    8- d
    9- g
    10- c

  • 03/08/10  
    Adriana Davida diz: 4

    Hi!
    Hope I’ll get all right..
    I think it is:
    1 – i
    2 – j
    3 – a
    4 – c
    5 – h
    6 – b
    7 – e
    8 – d
    9 – g
    10 – f

    Tks guys!

  • 03/08/10  
    Laura diz: 5

    Estou de queixo caído como a navegação desse site é completamente non-user-friendly!! Não consegui ver onde se poderia fazer o teste, e olha que trabalho nessa área de TI.
    Decepcionante… :(

    • 03/08/10  
      Alessandro diz:

      Laura,

      Observe como os outros leitores participaram do teste antes de falar bobagem. ok?
      Se for pra criticar, pelo menos que o faça de forma construtiva. Criticar por criticar é fácil!

      Abraço,

  • 03/08/10  
    Amanda diz: 6

    1 – i
    2 – j
    3 – f
    4 – a
    5 – h
    6 – b
    7 – e
    8 – d
    9 – g
    10 – c

  • 03/08/10  
    Gabriela diz: 7

    1i; 2j; 3f; 4a; 5h; 6b; 7e; 8d; 9g; 10c

  • 03/08/10  
    Kleber Danielski diz: 8

    1I
    2J
    3F
    44
    5H
    6B
    7E
    8D
    9G
    10C

  • 03/08/10  
    Murilo diz: 9

    1 i
    2 j
    3 a
    4 f
    5 c
    6 b
    7 e
    8 d
    9 g
    10 h

  • 03/08/10  
    Alex diz: 10

    1i
    2j
    3f
    4a
    5h
    6b
    7e
    8d
    9g
    10c

  • 03/08/10  
    Flavia Darc Da Silva diz: 11

    1I – 2J – 3F – 4A – 5H – 6B – 7E – 8D – 9G – 10C

  • 03/08/10  
    João Henrique diz: 12

    O teste não está abrindo no meu browser. Posso enviar as respostas para algum e-mail?

    • 03/08/10  
      Alessandro diz:

      João,

      Envie suas respostas aqui nos comentários.

  • 03/08/10  
    Kleber Danielski diz: 13

    Ops, a resposta da 4 não é 4 (dããã), é “A”.

  • 03/08/10  
    Lis diz: 14

    Será que acertei? :P

    A
    (1) The hotels were outrageously (i)
    (2) Shoes are dirt (j)
    (3) He was dirt (f)
    (4) Mary was fuming (a)
    (5) I ordered a freezing (h)
    (6) Arizona is burning (b)
    (7) I’m late. I’m terribly (e)
    (8) His talk show is enormously (d)
    (9) The view from the top was breathtakingly (g)
    (10) After the tennis game I was dripping (c)

  • 03/08/10  
    Raquel Pereira Flores diz: 15

    (1 – I) The hotels were outrageously expensive in London.
    (2 – J) Shoes are dirt cheap in Mexico.
    (3 – F) He was dirt poor as a child.
    (4 – A) Mary was fuming mad last night.
    (5 – H) I ordered a freezing cold beer to cool off.
    (6 – B) Arizona is burning hot in July.
    (7 – E) I’m late. I’m terribly sorry.
    (8 – D) His talk show is enormously successful at the moment.
    (9 – G) The view from the top was breathtakingly beautiful.
    (10 – C) After the tennis game I was dripping wet.

  • 03/08/10  
    RFMp diz: 16

    The hotels were outrageously expensive in London.
    I ordered a freezing cold beer to cool off.
    The view from the top was breathtakingly beautiful.
    His talk show is enormously successful at the moment.
    After the tennis game I was dripping wet.
    I’m late. I’m terribly sorry.
    Arizona is burning hot in July.
    Mary was fuming mad last night.
    He was dirt poor as a child.
    Shoes are dirt cheap in Mexico.

  • 03/08/10  
    João Henrique diz: 17

    1-i, 2-j, 3-f, 4-a, 5-h, 6-b, 7-e, 8-d, 9-g, 10-c

  • 03/08/10  
    Elisa diz: 18

    Here it goes!

    (1) The hotels were outrageously (i) expensive in London.

    (2) Shoes are dirt (j) cheap in Mexico.

    (3) He was dirt (d) successful at the moment.

    (4) Mary was fuming (a) mad last night.

    (5) I ordered a freezing (h) cold beer to cool off.

    (6) Arizona is burning (b) hot in July.

    (7) I’m late. I’m terribly (e) sorry.

    (8) His talk show is enormously (f) poor as a child.

    (9) The view from the top was breathtakingly (g) beautiful.

    (10) After the tennis game I was dripping (c) wet.

  • 03/08/10  
    CRistiane diz: 19

    Desculpe-me pela pergunta, mas sou nova aqui…
    Para onde eu envio a resposta do teste?

    • 03/08/10  
      Alessandro diz:

      Cristiane,

      Envie a resposta do testes aqui nos comentários.
      Estou aguardando mais participações para aí sim publicar todas aqui.

      Abraço,

  • 03/08/10  
    Rafael diz: 20

    1 – i
    2 – j
    3 – a
    4 – f
    5 – h
    6 – b
    7 – e
    8 – d
    9 – g
    10 – c

  • 03/08/10  
    Bruna Castro diz: 21

    Answers:

    1- i
    2- j
    3- f
    4- a
    5- h
    6- b
    7- e
    8- d
    9- g
    10- c

  • 03/08/10  
    Shara Bettiol Perico diz: 22

    My answers are the following:

    1 – i
    2 – j
    3 – a
    4 – f
    5 – h
    6 – b
    7 – e
    8 – d
    9 – g
    10 – c

  • 03/08/10  
    neusa diz: 23

    Não entendi como responder ao teste, estou no lugar errado? gostaria de participar, mas acredito que não há mais tempo. Onde posso encontrar as respostas dos participantes. obrigada.

  • 03/08/10  
    richelme gonçalves diz: 24

    1=i, 2=j, 3=f, 4=a 5=h, 6=b, 7=e, 8=d,9=g,10=c

  • 03/08/10  
    Flávia Laira diz: 25

    1-i
    2-j
    3-f
    4-a
    5-h
    6-b
    7-e
    8-d
    9-g
    10-c

  • 03/08/10  
    Simone Sampaio diz: 26

    I just would like to know when the results will be available. We’re looking forward to them… thanks. :)

  • 03/08/10  
    Angelita diz: 27

    Answers of quiz about collocations
    (1) (i)
    (2) (j)
    (3) (d)
    (4) (a)
    (5) (h)
    (6) (b)
    (7) (e)
    (8) (f)
    (9) (g)
    (10) (c)

  • 03/08/10  
    Daniel diz: 28

    vou deixar minha tentativa:

    1-j
    2-i
    3-f
    4-a
    5-h
    6-b
    7-e
    8-d
    9-g
    10-c

  • 03/08/10  
    Renata diz: 29

    1-i
    2-j
    3-f
    4-a
    5-h
    6-b
    7-e
    8-d
    9-g
    10-c

  • 03/08/10  
    Betânia diz: 30

    1-i
    2-j
    3-f
    4-a
    5-h
    6-b
    7-e
    8-d
    9-g
    10-c
    Sei que já deram essa resposta, mas vale a participação.

  • 03/08/10  
    lisette diz: 31

    My answer is
    1 – I
    2 – J
    3 – F
    4 – A
    5 – H
    6 – B
    7 – E
    8 – D
    9 – G
    10 – C

  • 03/08/10  
    Betânia diz: 32

    Quando e onde veremos o resultado?

  • 03/08/10  
    Alessandro diz: 33

    Olá pessoal,

    Muito obrigado pela participação no mini-teste. Os vencedores foram:

    Rogerio (comment number 1 – 17:10)
    Luis Fernando Jr (comment number 2 – 17:11)
    Patrícia (comment number 5 – 17:14)

    Parabéns aos ganhadores do livro.

    Bons estudos para todos!

  • 03/08/10  
    kátia diz: 34

    1-i; 2-j; 3-f; 4-a; 5-h; 6-b; 7-e; 8-d; 9-g; 10-c.

  • 03/08/10  
    Aline diz: 35

    1-i
    2-j
    3-f
    4-a
    5-h
    6-b
    7-e
    8-d
    9-g
    10-c

  • 03/08/10  
    RFMp diz: 36

    O engraçado é que os ganhadores responderam no dia 2, e o teste só foi divulgado hj. Estranho isso.

  • 03/08/10  
    Alexandre diz: 37

    Acertei, mas minha resposta foi nº 53, por volta das 17:30. Muito tarde rsrsrsrs.

    Mas valeu, quem sabe na próxima !!!

    • 03/08/10  
      Alessandro diz:

      Alexandre,

      Obrigado por participar. Não faltarão oportunidades para você ganhar nos próximos desafios.

      Bons estudos!

  • 03/08/10  
    Marco Brainiac diz: 38

    well,

    I’m very concerned about this topic very hard to me.

    How can we improve it? only reading more?

    thanks

  • 03/08/10  
    Cristiane McBrain diz: 39

    Que coisa, também acertei, mas fui muito lerda haha! Só vi o teste lá pelas 17:30 também… de qualquer forma, foi um ótimo jeito de treinar esse assunto que é tão importante! Parabéns ao EE!

  • 03/08/10  
    DANIELE IRINEU DE SOUZA diz: 40

    Oie, fiquei muito feliz ao verificar as respostas, pois acertei… em contrapartida fiquei P pq nao enviei ontem mesmo minhas respostas. Fica para a próxima. Muito legal!

  • 04/08/10  
    Araujo Ngonhamo diz: 41

    gostei da dica e do exercicio mas nao vou poder responder agora. cumprimentos a toda equipe de english expert

  • 04/08/10  
    Prof. Irineu Cruz diz: 42

    filth; disgustingly dirty. Algo muito, muito sujo… podre. Filth rich seria melhor traduzido como podre de rico. São as únicas situações que se usa filth ou filthy. Abração a tod@s.
    Irineu

  • 04/08/10  
    JOSE PEDRO MANDELLI diz: 43

    I believe that answers are:

    with the words in column B.
    A B
    (1) The hotels were outrageously EXPENSIVE IN LONDON
    (2) Shoes are dirt CHEAP IN MEXICO
    (3) He was dirt POOR AS A CHILD
    (4) Mary was fuming SORRY
    (5) I ordered a freezing COLD BEER TO COOL OFF
    (6) Arizona is burning HOT IN JULY
    (7) I’m late. I’m terribly MAD LAST NIGHT
    (8) His talk show is enormously SUCCESSFUL AT THE MOMENT
    (9) The view from the top was breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL
    (10) After the tennis game I was dripping WET

  • 05/08/10  
    Sandra Elena Iba de Souza diz: 44

    Adorei as dicas! Vou aproveitá-las com minha turma do Cursinho!!! Não enviei minhas respostas tbm, mas valeu! Na próxima, ficarei mais atenta!!! Abraços.

  • 05/08/10  
    Gustavo Roussin diz: 45

    Muito legal esse teste. Vou procurar estudar mais sobre esse tópico. Realmente usar very o tempo todo é bem brasileiro e variar um pouco é sempre bom.

  • 06/08/10  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 46

    Congratulations on the post, Mark. I’m amazed at the number of replies!

    Don’t know if I can ask this here… I hope so. At the very end of the post there is a sentence: “The 3 first to answer correctly…”. Shouldn’t the ordinal number come BEFORE the cardinal number? Thanks in advance for an answer.

  • 09/08/10  
    Rodrigo Seroiska diz: 47

    Thank you for the awesome post.

  • 30/08/10  
    tulio diz: 48

    Não intendi como e pra fase

  • 31/08/10  
    christianne diz: 49

    Pelo primeiro exercicio , aprendi rápido , de 10 errei 3 , muito bem explicado .

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