• Adjectives name attributes of nouns.
  • Adjectives describe or express the properties or qualities or states of nouns.
  • Adjectives modify (adjectives are modifiers) nouns when used in the attributive position.  For example, “a big man”
  • Adjectives can be pre-modified (usually by intensifying adverbs, post-modified (usually by prepositional phrases or clauses), coordinated, and listed.

COME IN + adjective

In the English Vocabulary Profile, come in useful|handy are C2. A search in iWeb corpus for: COME IN _JJ . 1 COME IN HANDY. 9001 2 COMES IN HANDY. 4142 Huh, comes in handy on the cash register. listen   3 CAME IN HANDY. 660 4 COME IN USEFUL. 257 All these moves will come in useful in real life when she grows up. listen 5 COMES IN BLACK. 116 This structure …

COME IN + adjective Read More »

adjective + VALUES

In the English Vocabulary Profile: values = B2 the beliefs people have about what is right and wrong and what is most important in life, which control their behaviour A search in NOW corpus for: _JJ values_N 1 DEMOCRATIC VALUES 11972 Give a full and detailed account of who supports you,  where your arms and supplies come from and that your aim is the overthrow of established democratic values. listen 2 SHARED VALUES 10229 3 MORAL VALUES 8609 4 CULTURAL VALUES …

adjective + VALUES Read More »


Why say “is of interest” instead of “is interesting“? ‘is of + noun‘ is more formal and in academic writing, we use the noun form of a word more often.  More importantly, ‘of+noun’ functions as a noun in this position.  Therefore, it can often collocate correctly with modifiers.  For example:  “greatest interest” is much more …

BE + of NOUN PHRASE Read More »


‘Twee‘ is unlisted in the English Vocabulary Profile.  Google Oxford defines it as: BRITISH excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental. adverb: affectedly in a way that is artificial, pretentious, and designed to impress. adjective: quaint attractively unusual or old-fashioned. adjective sentimental of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia. — A search for collocates …

twee Read More »


A search for nouns collocating with ‘wild‘ in the NOW corpus: 1 CARD 41920 This most common collocate is unlisted in the English Vocabulary Profile.  A google definition of ‘wild card‘: a playing card that can have any value, suit, colour, or other property in a game at the discretion of the player holding it. …

wild Read More »

conventional wisdom

In the English Vocabulary Profile: conventional wisdom = C1 what most people believe Collocates in NOW corpus: 1 SAYS 948 2 SUGGESTS 509 3 HOLDS 419 When it comes to moral and political disagreements,  conventional wisdom holds that people are more powerfully influenced by facts and statistics  as opposed to personal anecdotes and experiences. 4 CONTRARY 402 5 CHALLENGE 352 6 HELD 257 7 SUGGEST 238 8 WRONG 207 9 GOES 201 10 CHALLENGING 177 …

conventional wisdom Read More »

GET + comparative

In the English Vocabulary Profile, listed at B1 is: get worse = to become more ill, unpleasant, difficult, severe, etc. than before For example: But if this thing gets worse, we must close. listen There is no English Grammar Profile point that specifically focuses on GET + comparative A search in NOW corpus for: GET _JJR 1 GET WORSE 42282 2 GETTING …

GET + comparative Read More »

worth + POSSESSIVE + while

At C2 in the English Vocabulary Profile: If it is worth your while doing something, it is useful or enjoyable to do it. A search in the NOW corpus for: * * worth _AP while 1 MAKE IT WORTH YOUR WHILE 738 2 MAKE IT WORTH THEIR WHILE 413 Adam Smith was convinced that human beings were by their very natures lazy,  and wouldn’t do anything unless you made it worth their while,  and the way you made it worth …

worth + POSSESSIVE + while Read More »

adjective + AS

A search in iWeb for _JJ as 1 GOOD AS 206337 2 SIMPLE AS 116801 3 AVAILABLE AS 100100 4 HIGH AS 90051 5 IMPORTANT AS 85859 6 EASY AS 76766 7 ONLY AS 76363 8 LOW AS 72885 9 BAD AS 56258 10 GREAT AS 46149 11 EFFECTIVE AS 36161 I want to be as effective as you were, Annie. listen …

adjective + AS Read More »


All the English Vocabulary Profile, all the vocabulary is listed at B2 or lower. A search in COCA: 1 APPROPRIATE WAY 544 2 APPROPRIATE RESPONSE 541 I found the appropriate response to these situations a long time ago. listen 3 APPROPRIATE ACTION 450 4 APPROPRIATE LEVEL 345 5 APPROPRIATE TREATMENT 268 6 APPROPRIATE WAYS 175 7 APPROPRIATE RESPONSES 122 8 APPROPRIATE LEVELS 121 9 APPROPRIATE …

APPROPRIATE + noun Read More »

ANNUAL + noun

A search in iWeb for: annual conference|meeting|rate|report|review 1 ANNUAL REPORT 47760 Sustainability goals have been written into annual reports all over the world. 2 ANNUAL MEETING 45673 I hadn’t seen Melquiades for about 10 years and when we had our annual meetings in Lima, Peru a couple of years ago,  the filmmakers found him. 3 ANNUAL CONFERENCE 24962 4 ANNUAL RATE 11484 5 ANNUAL REVIEW 6732

-al suffix

A search in iWeb for: *al (jj): 67 adjectives (nn1): 18 nouns 1 SEVERAL (DA2) 3998917 2 REAL (JJ) 3957063 3 LOCAL (JJ) 3922768 4 NATIONAL (JJ) 3787655 5 SOCIAL (JJ) 3761279 6 SPECIAL (JJ) 3229693 7 PERSONAL (JJ) 3129720 8 INTERNATIONAL (JJ) 2710354 9 FINANCIAL (JJ) 2465120 10 ADDITIONAL (JJ) 2441945 11 MEDICAL (JJ) …

-al suffix Read More »