19 English Collocations with Think
This lesson was originally published in March 2019.
It was updated with new content and a new video lesson in March 2023.
When talking about tidying up the house, why do English speakers say:
- Do the dishes
- Do the laundry
- Do some ironing
- Make the bed
Why not ‘do the bed?’
The answer: collocations.
If you watch my lessons consistently, you’ve definitely heard me use the word collocations before.
But what EXACTLY are collocations and how can they help you speak naturally, express yourself with greater clarity, and create sentences more easily?
I’ll be answering those questions today in this Confident English lesson.
Plus, I’ll help you get started with your focus on collocations using 19 English Collocations with ‘Think.’
This includes collocations that
- Include the word ‘think’
- Express what you think
- Indicate that one thought has led to another
- Ask for time to think
- Describe what others think
- Show that you have some doubts about what you think
English Collocations About What You Think—A Smart Way to Boost Your Vocabulary
Let’s go back to the question of why English speakers use do the dishes, do the laundry, do some ironing, and make the bed…
This is because some words in English almost always occur together with other words. It’s like the words are best friends. They show up in sentences together regularly.
These commonly occurring combinations of words are known as collocations.
And, if we make unexpected changes – if we use a different word – these variances or alternative combinations can sound distinctly odd to an English speaker’s ears.
If someone were to use “do the bed” in a sentence, it would immediately sound unusual or sound like a possible mistake.
What are collocations?
- Collocations are two or more words that occur regularly together, with a high degree of probability.
- Collocations help us understand which words belong together and which words don’t.
Why should you use collocations?
- English speakers use collocations in all conversations and forms of communication. Familiarity with collocations can help you strengthen your comprehension skills.
- Not only do collocations help you speak more naturally, but learning collocations can help you to gain greater fluency in English.
- Like phrasal verbs, collocations help us achieve accurate sentence structures and express our thoughts with clarity.
- Collocations help us build sentences quickly and easily.
Most common English collocations with ‘think’
- Honestly think
- Personally think
- Hate to think
- Dread to think
- Shudder to think
Ex. “I personally think you should let your boss know you made a mistake.”
Ex. “The lifeguards rescued him from the water just in time; I shudder to think what would have happened if they hadn’t!”
Collocations to say WHAT you think
- In my opinion, I think…
- I’m of the opinion that…
- I subscribe to the theory that
Ex. “I’m of the opinion that if you are kind, then kindness will come your way.”
Ex. “I subscribe to the theory that everything happens for a reason.”
Collocations for when you need time to think
- Think carefully
- Give it some thought
- Have a good think
- Have a long think
- Have a hard think
- Have a long, hard think about it
Ex. “After their meeting she thought long and hard about how to improve their strategy.”
Ex. “Clearly, with that injury, you need to have a good think about whether you should run in the marathon again this year.”
Ex.”I appreciate your offer, I will definitely give it some thought.”
Collocations for when one thought leads to another
- Inclined to think
- Lead [one] to think
- Think ahead/in advance
Ex. “I’m inclined to think that Hannah’s idea might work.”
Ex. “Unfortunately, the confusing texts lead her to think that their dinner plans were canceled.”
Ex. “I believe we should think ahead and begin planning for this event now.”
Collocations about what OTHERS think
- Common knowledge
- Widespread belief
- Opinions are divided
Ex. “It’s common knowledge that she is the strongest athlete on the team.”
Ex. “There is a widespread belief that vinegar will ease jellyfish stings, but actually hot water is a much better idea.”
Ex. “Opinions are divided as to whether the new office paint color should be olive green or light mauve.”
Collocations for when you’re worried or have a doubt about what you think
- Nagging doubt/feeling
- Wrestling with a problem/issue/situation
Ex. “I have a nagging doubt/feeling that it may go horribly wrong tomorrow!” (horribly wrong is a great collocation to use too!)
Ex. “I have been wrestling with this issue for over a week now!”
So, are you feeling ready to practice?
Putting words together into little collocation chunks is a great way to help you build sentences really quickly and easily as you are speaking.
Try these practice questions.
- What could you say to your friend if it sounds like they need to spend some time thinking about a problem?
- What collocations could you use to express your thoughts about climate change?
The best place to share and learn from others in the Confident English Community is in the comment section below.
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