July 10, 2020

Academic English Collocation Errors (and other problems)

Free to copy, redistribute and adapt, provided appropriate credit is given to ColloCaid – CC BY

This document provides a list of errors and other problems related to the use of collocations in written academic English and ways to overcome them. Note, however,  that good writing is not just about correcting errors. The ColloCaid editor can help you expand your academic vocabulary and make your texts more fluent by showing thousands of collocation suggestions that you can use in your texts.

Key:

error
often a problem
  not very common
 solution

Go to problems with:
Prepositions
agree
arrive
ask
change
control
decrease
depend
dependent
depite
difference
discuss
divided
emphasize
enter
harmful
increase
independent
interest
knowledge
make
need
provide
reason
responsible
similar
solution
spend
stress
tendency
typical
Singular/Plural
advice
criterion/criteria
damage
evidence
information
knowledge
person/people
phenomenon/phenomena
progress
research
trouble
ing & to
ability
afford
avoid
contribute
possibility
right
risk
spend
stop
suggest
tendency
think
worth
Word Choice
accept/agree
economical/economic
effect/affect
less/fewer
Formality
do
a bit
a lot
a lot of
till
Academic Phrases
beginning
end
half
hand
same

 
 

Prepositions

 

agree

 agree the view that

agree the statement

agree to this conclusion

agree to the idea

agree with the view that

agree with the statement

agree with this conclusion

agree with the idea

arrive

arrive to a conclusion

arrive to a decision

arrive at a conclusion

arrive at a decision

ask

ask to users

ask to participants

ask to students

ask users

ask participants

ask students

based

based in data

based in previous

based in evidence

based on data

based on previous

based on evidence

change

change of the rate

change of behaviour

change of price

change of level

change of temperature

change in state

change in circumstances

change in the rate

change in behaviour

change in price

change in level

change in temperature

change of state

change of circumstances

control

take control over

lose control over

exercise control of

exert control of

take control over

lose control of

exercise control over

exert control over

decrease

a decrease of size

a decrease of frequency

a decrease of activity

a decrease of number

a decrease in size

a decrease in frequency

a decrease in activity

a decrease in number

depend

depend of the nature

depend of the type

depend of the factor

depend of the number

depend of the size

depend of the condition

depend on the nature

depend on the type

depend on the factor

depend on the number

depend on the size

depend on the condition

dependent

dependent of the factor

dependent of the size

dependent of the context

dependent of the condition

dependent of the number

dependent of the level

dependent on the factor

dependent on the size

dependent on the context

dependent on the condition

dependent on the number

dependent on the level

despite

despite of the fact that

despite of the differences

despite of efforts to

despite of the increase

despite of the limitations

despite the fact that

despite the differences

despite efforts to

despite the increase

despite the limitations

difference

a difference of rate

a difference of level

a difference of behaviour

a difference of size

a difference of structure

a difference of number

a difference in rate

a difference in level

a difference in behaviour

a difference in size

a difference in structure

a difference in number

discuss

discuss about the issue

discuss about the problem

discuss about the case

discuss about the implications

discuss about the results

discuss the issue

discuss the problem

discuss the case

discuss the implications

discuss the results

divided

divided in groups

divided in sections

divided in parts

divided in categories

divided in two

divided into groups

divided into sections

divided into parts

divided into categories

divided into two

emphasize

emphasize on the importance

emphasize on the role

emphasize on the need

emphasize the importance

emphasize the role

emphasize the need

enter

enter into the market

enter into the country

enter into a new phase

enter into the final stage

enter the market

enter the country

enter a new stage

enter the final stage

harmful

harmful for health

harmful for the environment

harmful for children

harmful to health

harmful to the environment

harmful to children

increase

increase of the number of

increase of the rate of

increase of the level of

increase of demand

increase of price

increase of temperature

increase in the number of

increase in the rate of

increase in the level of

increase in demand

increase in price

increase in temperature

independent

independent from each other

independent from one another

independent from size

independent from those factors

independent of each other

independent of one another

independent of size

independent of those factors

interest

interest for the

interest for a

interest for this

interest for what

interest for how

interest for whether

interest for understanding

interest for developing

interest in the

interest in a

interest in this

interest in what

interest in how

interest in whether

interest in understanding

interest in developing

knowledge

knowledge in the

knowledge in a

knowledge in how

knowledge on this

knowledge on their

knowledge on what

knowledge of the

knowledge of a

knowledge of how

knowledge of this

knowledge of their

knowledge of what

make

make them to feel

make it to appear

make it to seem

make them feel

make it appear

make it seem

need

the need of

a need of

no need of

an urgent need of

in need for

the need for

a need for

no need for

an urgent need for

in need of

provide

provides us a

provides them the

provide people information

provides it more

provides us with a

provides them with the

provide people with information

provides it with more

reason

reason of this

reason of the

reason of their

reason of a

reason of not

reason for this

reason for the

reason for their

reason for a

reason for not

related

related with the

related with a

related with their

related with this

related with its

related to the

related to a

related to their

related to this

related to its

responsible

responsible of the

responsible of ensuring

responsible by the

responsible by this

responsible by what

responsible for the

responsible for ensuring

responsible for the

responsible for this

responsible for what

similar

similar as that

similar as those

similar as each other

similar to that

similar to those

similar to each other

solution

solution of the problem

solution of the

solution of this

solution to the problem

solution to the

solution to this

spend

spend more in

spend less in

spend time in

spend money in

time spent in

spend more on

spend less on

spend time on

spend money on

time spent on

stress

stress on the importance

stress on the need

stress the importance

stress the need

tendency

tendency of a

tendency of the

tendency of convergence

tendency towards a

tendency towards the

tendency towards convergence

typical

typical for the

typical for a

typical for many

typical for those

typical of the

typical of a

typical of many

typical of those

 
 

Singular/plural

advice

give an advice

provide advices

seek advices

expert advices

practical advices

good advices

give advice

provide advice

seek advice

    expert advice

practical advice

     good advice

criterion/criteria

selection criterions

evaluation criterions

an important criteria

meet the criterions

selection criteria

evaluation criteria

an important criterion

meet the criteria

damage

suffer a damage

cause a damage

prevent damages

serious damages

severe damages

further damages

suffer (some) damage

cause (some) damage

prevent damage

serious damage

severe damage

further damage

evidence

a clear evidence

a further evidence

empirical evidences

gather evidences

the evidences presented

clear evidence

further evidence

empirical evidence

gather evidence

the evidence presented

information

 obtain an information

 provide informations

 the informations gathered

relevant informations

detailed informations

a useful information

obtain information

provide (some) information

the information gathered

relevant information

detailed information

 useful information

knowledge

a new knowledge

a prior knowledges

scientific knowledges

gaps in knowledges

knowledges and skills

new knowledge

prior knowledge

scientific knowledge

gaps in knowledge

knowledge and skills

person/people

many persons

other persons

most persons

number of persons

group of persons

% of persons

the majority of persons

many people

other people

most people

number of people

group of people

% of people

the majority of people

phenomenon/phenomena

a new phenomena

a complex phenomena

a similar phenomena

other phenomenon

such phenomenon

a new phenomenon

a complex phenomenon

a similar phenomenon

other phenomena

such phenomena

progress

make progresses

achieve a good progress

measure progresses

a steady progress

a substantial progress

considerable progresses

make progress

achieve good progress

measure progress

steady progress

substantial progress

considerable progress

research

qualitative researches

future researches

recent researches

conduct researches

researches show that

qualitative research

future research

recent research

conduct research

research shows that

trouble

have a trouble

cause a trouble

have troubles getting

have troubles finding

have trouble

cause trouble

have trouble getting

have trouble finding

ing & to

ability

 ability of producing

 ability of using

 ability of making

 ability of controlling

 ability of being

 ability of providing

ability to produce

ability to use

ability to make

ability to control

ability to be

ability to provide

afford

 afford paying

 afford buying

 afford ignoring

 afford losing

afford to pay

afford to buy

afford to ignore

afford to lose

avoid

avoid to be

avoid to use

avoid to make

avoid being

avoid using

avoid making

contribute

 contribute to improve

 contribute to understand

 contribute to strengthen

 contribute to reduce

contribute to improving

contribute to understanding

contribute to strengthening

contribute to reducing

possibility

 possibility to use

 possibility to be

 possibility to make

 possibility to have

 possibility to develop

possibility of using

possibility of being

possibility of making

possibility of having

possibility of developing

right

right of having

right of using

right of making

right of participating

right of working

right to have

right to use

right to make

right to participate

right to work

risk

risk to be

risk to lose

risk being

risk losing

spend

spent to work

spent to watch

spent to look for

spent to wait for

spent working

spent watching

spent looking for

spent waiting for

stop

stop to work

stop to use

stop to do

stop working

stop using

stop doing

suggest

suggest to use

suggest to adopt

suggest to add

suggest using

suggest adopting

suggest adding

tendency

tendency of being

tendency of using

tendency of seeing

tendency of forming

tendency to be

tendency to use

tendency to see

tendency to form

think

think to quit

think to try

think to use

think about quitting

think about trying

think about using

worth

worth to note

worth to consider

worth to mention

worth to remember

worth to point out

worth to emphasize

worth to explore

worth noting

worth considering

worth mentioning

worth remembering

worth pointing out

worth emphasizing

worth exploring

 
 

 

Word choice

accept/agree

 accept to participate

 accept to take part

 accept to pay

agree to participate

agree to take part

agree to pay

economical/economic

 social and economical

 political and economical

 economical growth

 economical development

 economical activity

social and economic

political and economic

economic growth

economic development

economic activity

effect/affect

 effect the behaviour

 effect the outcome

 adversely effected

 directly effected

 significantly effected

 negatively effected

affect the behaviour

affect the outcome

adversely affected

directly affected

significantly affected

negatively affected

less/fewer

 less people

 less resources

 less cases

 less hours

 less differences

 less options

fewer people

fewer resources

fewer cases

fewer hours

fewer differences

fewer options

 
 

 

Formality

do

 do research

 do projects

conduct research

undertake projects

a bit

a bit different

a bit small

a bit complex

a bit similar

a bit misleading

a bit surprising

rather different

rather small

rather complex

somewhat similar

somewhat misleading

somewhat surprising

a lot

a lot more

a lot larger

a lot greater

a lot higher

a lot less

a lot smaller

a lot lower

much more

much larger

much greater

much higher

much less

much smaller

much lower

a lot of

a lot of people

a lot of cases

a lot of ways

a lot of different

a lot of research

a lot of work

a lot of attention

many people

many cases

many ways

many different

much research

much work

much attention

till

till the

till they

till it

till recently

till now

till after

until the

until they

until it

until recently

until now

until after

 
 

Academic phrases

 

beginning

At the beginning,

 in the beginning of the

 in the beginning of this

 in the beginning of each

 in the beginning of a

In the beginning,

at the beginning of the

at the beginning of this

at the beginning of each

at the beginning of a

end

At the end,

in the end of the

in the end of this

in the end of each

in the end of a

In the end,

at the end of the

at the end of this

at the end of each

at the end of a

half

 more than a half

 less than a half

 over a half

 almost a half

 nearly a half

 only a half

 the half of the total

 the half of the world

 the half of the participants

more than half

less than half

over half

almost half

nearly half

only half

half of the total

half of the world

half of the participants

hand

 in one hand

 on one hand

in the on hand

in the other hand

on the one hand

on the one hand

on the one hand

on the other hand

same

 the same than the

 the same than that

 the same than those

 the same than in

the same as the

the same as that

the same as those

the same as in