• The ‘attributive’ position of an adjective means the adjective comes before the noun.
  • The attributive adjective modifies the following noun without a linking verb.

adjective + ORDER

In this post, we search for the most common adjectives found before the noun ‘order‘.  For example: Now, that might sound pretty good, but ask yourself  what would happen  under our current economic and political order? TED A search in the NOW corpus for _J order_N 1 PUBLIC ORDER 37962 2 RESTRAINING ORDER 35066 3 STAY-AT-HOME ORDER 21381 4 NEW ORDER 20398 5 MIDDLE ORDER 16531 6 INTERIM

adjective + ORDER 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 »

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 »


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 »

ANALYTICAL + approach | tools

‘analytical’ is C1 in the English Vocabulary Profile. A COCA collocate search for: analytical approach|tool|approaches|tools 1 TOOLS 182 (B2) 2 APPROACH 96 (B2) 3 TOOL 67 (B2) 4 APPROACHES 52 5 DATA 17  Data and analytical tools are important. However, they aren’t enough on their own. context 6 USEFUL 15 This would not be a very useful analytical approach. context 7 USING 15 8 USED 15 9 POWERFUL 10 10 DEVELOPED 9 11

ANALYTICAL + approach | tools Read More »

ample | anecdotal | convincing | documentary | supporting + EVIDENCE

There are over 10 entries in the ACL for the B2 (proof) or C2 (law) noun ‘evidence’.  Here we look for those adjectives that only come before ‘evidence’ in the list.  A search in COCA for the frequency of these collocations: 1 ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE 1110 (unlisted in the English Vocabulary Profile.) I wanted to put some science to this anecdotal evidence. 2

ample | anecdotal | convincing | documentary | supporting + EVIDENCE Read More »

academic collocations of ‘alternative’

If we check ‘text inspector’ without part of speech: when we check for nouns: A search in iWeb for: alternative approach|explanation|form|interpretation|means|method|model|solution|source|strategy|view|way 1 ALTERNATIVE WAY 6465 2 ALTERNATIVE METHOD 6153 I believe we might be at a point where we might want to try some alternative methods. listen 3 ALTERNATIVE APPROACH 4546 Isn’t there an alternative approach? listen 4 ALTERNATIVE MEANS 3901 5 ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION 3228 6 ALTERNATIVE SOURCE 1925

academic collocations of ‘alternative’ Read More »

their native + language | tongue

‘your native language or tongue’ is B2 in the English Vocabulary Profile with the meaning: ‘the first language you learn.’  For example: Now, they speak English but it‘s not their native language,  they‘d rather not speak English. TED A collocate search for _APPGE native language|tongue in COCA: 1 LANGUAGE 566 2 THEIR 412 3 TONGUE 3004 ENGLISH 80 5 SPEAK 53 6 SPEAKING 28 7 SPANISH

their native + language | tongue Read More »

far superlative

The irregular superlative adverb or adjective of ‘far‘ is ‘farthest‘ or ‘furthest.’  For example: If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.   From the furthest corners of the world where the dark arts still hold sway,  he returns to us to demonstrate how nature‘s laws may be bent. listen In the English Vocabulary Profile, at A2, ‘far‘ as an adverb means: at, to or from a great distance in space or time It is also listed at B2 as an adjective

far superlative Read More »

abstract concepts

STUDENT EXAMPLE: The professor tries to explain the abstract concept of freedom. PELIC Arabic male level 5 writing class The plural form is more common in iWeb corpus: 1 ABSTRACT CONCEPTS 2856 2 ABSTRACT CONCEPT 1883 further collocates in iWeb: 1 CONCEPTS 2978 2 AN 1170 3 SUCH 302 4 UNDERSTAND 183 5 CONCRETE 149 6 RATHER 102 7 UNDERSTANDING 101 8 ABILITY 74

abstract concepts Read More »

adjective + noun (range)

Here is a nonliteral example of using an adjective before a noun that might be considered A2: It‘s been too long my old friend. listen   Here are examples of academic collocation: It’s a pretty accurate description. (listen to this expert example)   He can ask for additional information. (listen to this expert example)   During my school years,  I started reading to get some information  because I was an active participant  in almost all the literary competitions. TLC female India

adjective + noun (range) Read More »

‘major cities’, ‘very beginning’ (major | very + noun)

For this C2 grammar, ‘major’ is an adjective meaning: important, serious, or significant. ‘Very’ is an adjective meaning: actual or precise, with emphasis on the exact quality of the following noun or an extreme point in time/space. Point 73 under the category of adjectives in C2 on the English Grammar Profile these two vocabulary items

‘major cities’, ‘very beginning’ (major | very + noun) Read More »