• Formal language is used for more serious situations.
  • If we don’t know the people so well, we usually use more formal language.
  • Writing usually has more formal language than speaking.
  • However, speeches or lectures also contain more formal language.


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 …

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APPLY + equally | method | theory

In the English Vocabulary Profile, all the vocabulary in this set of collocations is at B1 except for ‘equally’ at B2. I apply this lesson equally well to my personal life.   About 75 percent of people who applied to jobs using various methods in the past year said they never heard anything back from the employer.   We have applied this theory to many systems.

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

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 …

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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 …

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almost identical

‘almost identical‘ is an expert example of a C1 range of grammar and vocabulary which is also academic collocation. Indeed, as you know, the new will is almost identical to the old but for the disposition of a few items. This draft is almost identical to what was released. listen When we look for these words with more words between them it isn’t the same modification: You‘re almost definitely not going to find two identical snowflakes.

allow access

Looking for academic collocation in TED corpus for: allow* * access* Together, psychedelics and music may be able to open our minds to change and direct that change,  reconnect us with our most authentic selves and allow us access to the things that really allow us to make meaning in this world,  and reconnect with our most authentic selves. listen ‘allow’ and ‘access’ are B1 in the English Vocabulary Profile.


Here’s an example of this academic collocation: And this data is key because it really helps cities understand where people are using,  how to allocate resources and the effectiveness of programming over time.   A search in iWeb for allocat* resourc* 1 ALLOCATE RESOURCES 3008 2 ALLOCATING RESOURCES 1467 3 ALLOCATED RESOURCES 470 4 ALLOCATES RESOURCES 340 5 ALLOCATED RESOURCE 44 A collocate search in COCA for allocate resources: 1 HOW 19 2 EFFICIENTLY 9 …


socially + acceptable | constructed | desirable : behaviour 8691

EXAMPLES: Social constructionists believe that things that are generally viewed as natural or normal in society, such as understandings of gender, race, class, and disability, are socially constructed, and consequently aren’t an accurate reflection of reality.   He says it’s a school’s responsibility to tackle bullying early so that bullies, the bystanders or even victims don’t think that it’s acceptable behaviour to carry through into adulthood.   Psychologists can provide insights about how to teach children to manage their behaviour in ways that are socially acceptable.   His goal is to make the company more environmentally friendly and socially responsible.   Therefore, we find that people tend to give socially desirable responses. TED ACL: acceptable behaviour socially acceptable|constructed|desirable|responsible EVP: acceptable B1 good enough C1 allowed or approved of: 2 examples of ‘socially acceptable’ iWeb: 1 SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE 8691 2 …

socially + acceptable | constructed | desirable : behaviour 8691 Read More »

accept | take | claim | assume + responsibility | blame

EXAMPLES: Children can learn about taking responsibility by watching their parents accept responsibility. PELIC STUDENT: Japanese female level 4 writing class.   I was called in to assume the responsibility. TED   It’s been so wonderful to look back  and see all of my former colleagues who’ve gone on to get doctorates and assume leadership roles in other organizations. TED   The first step in accepting blame is realizing that you have made a mistake and you deserve to be blamed. The English Grammar Profiler tool highlights the Academic Collocations List, allocating C2 value to most of them.  However, for each phrase we use, …

accept | take | claim | assume + responsibility | blame Read More »

academic + year | achievement | performance | success | research 68730

STUDENT EXAMPLE: During my first and second academic years, I never went to the library. Chinese female level 5 writing class. iWeb ranking: 1 ACADEMIC YEAR 68730 2 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT 21832 3 ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE 16841 4 ACADEMIC SUCCESS 16798 5 ACADEMIC RESEARCH 11633 6 ACADEMIC WORK 7408 7 ACADEMIC CAREER 7300 8 ACADEMIC COMMUNITY 6014 9 ACADEMIC STUDY 5326 10 ACADEMIC WRITING 5230 11 ACADEMIC INSTITUTION …

academic + year | achievement | performance | success | research 68730 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 …

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