You might have – at some point – heard the following old saying:
A man is known by the company he keeps.
This means that if you would like to know more about one person, look at his friends. The same statement can be true about words in English:
You shall know a word by the company it keeps. (Firth, 1957).
This saying states that we – English language learners- can learn more about English words when we pay attention to the words that come before and/or after the actual word. Keep reading and you will be amazed to see why you should learn the words with their partners.
You Will Improve Your Grammar
If you would like to avoid preposition and article errors in your writing and speaking, then learn words together. For example, instead of learning new words such as interested, deal, consist, depend, and listen individually, you can learn what prepositions are used after the words. Learn the words in the following way: interested IN, deal WITH, consist OF, depend ON.
One more thing: Do not forget to read example sentences to learn how these prepositions are used. For example:
(To read example sentences, you can use LEARNER DICTIONARIES).
You Will Produce Accurate Sentences
Do you sometimes feel like that you are not so sure what verbs and/or adjectives you should use after some certain words?
Which one sounds correct?
Do homework or make homework?
Easy homework or light homework?
For more example – see below.
When you learn the words together, you will get to know what sounds right and what sounds wrong in English. As a result, you’ll sound more natural in speaking and writing. That’s what most English language learners want, don’t you think?
Especially, English language learners who are preparing for IELTS or TOEFL should write accurate phrases and sentences in their essays. So, if you are preparing for one these exams, learn the words together …
After reading this post, I hope you will NOT just learn new words individually; instead, learn new words with their partners in order to improve your grammar and vocabulary accuracy. Plus, you’ll sound more natural when you learn words together.
Good luck! :)
I’m Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov. In Uzbekistan, my friends call me Ulug’bek. In the US, almost all of my friends call me Bek. I was born and raised in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Since 2004, I have been doing most of my academic work in the USA. Read more about me here.