What is the most suitable collocation to use with a launch, ride, or sail?

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By Kristy Tolley

Defining collocation

Collocation refers to the combination of words that frequently appear together and sound natural to native speakers. Collocations are essential to master for non-native English speakers to communicate effectively and convey their message accurately. Using appropriate collocations in a sentence can make the language more fluent and natural.

What is a launch, ride or sail?

A launch is a type of watercraft used to transport people or goods. It can be powered by an engine or propelled by oars. A ride is an activity or experience of traveling in a vehicle, usually for enjoyment. A sail is a piece of material hoisted onto a mast to catch the wind and propel a boat or ship forward.

What are collocations?

Collocations are combinations of words that are commonly used together in a language. These are not fixed rules, but they are the most natural way to express a thought. Using appropriate collocations can make a piece of writing or conversation sound more fluent and natural.

Importance of using the correct collocation

Using the correct collocation is essential to convey the intended meaning accurately and efficiently. Misusing a collocation can change the meaning of a sentence and result in confusion or miscommunication. For example, using "get on" instead of "get in" while referring to a car can create ambiguity. The correct collocation makes the sentence sound natural and communicates the intended meaning effectively.

Collocations for launching

When launching a boat, the most suitable collocations are "launch a boat," "put a boat in the water," "set a boat afloat," or "send a boat out." These phrases are frequently used and sound natural to native speakers.

Collocations for riding

The most common collocations with "ride" are "take a ride," "enjoy a ride," "go for a ride," or "have a ride." These phrases are appropriate for different contexts and convey the intended meaning accurately.

Collocations for sailing

The appropriate collocations with "sail" are "set sail," "hoist the sails," "catch the wind," or "navigate the seas." These phrases are frequently used and sound natural to native speakers.

How to choose the correct collocation

Choosing the correct collocation may seem daunting at first. However, with practice and exposure, it becomes easier to identify and use appropriate collocations. Reading extensively and watching English-speaking media can help non-native speakers become more familiar with collocations. Additionally, online resources such as Cambridge Dictionary and Oxford Collocations Dictionary can help identify appropriate collocations.

Common mistakes to avoid

Some common mistakes to avoid while using collocations are using incorrect prepositions, using verbs in the wrong form, and using words that don’t go together. For example, using "arrive at" instead of "arrive in" while referring to a city can create confusion.

Practice exercises for collocation

Practice exercises such as completing sentences with appropriate collocations or matching words that go together can help non-native speakers master collocations. Additionally, incorporating collocations into everyday conversations and writing can help improve fluency and accuracy.

Conclusion: Mastering collocations

Mastering collocations is an essential aspect of English language learning. Using appropriate collocations can make a piece of writing or conversation sound more fluent and natural. With practice and exposure, non-native speakers can become more familiar with collocations and effectively communicate their message.

References and further reading

  • Cambridge Dictionary: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/
  • Oxford Collocations Dictionary:
  • "Common Collocations with SAIL":
  • "Collocations Exercises":
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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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