§ Why collocations matter ~ spotting the errors ~ CELBANPrep Writing Level One

Dear Friend,

With the assistance of a writing coach, IENs work on writing assignments on a weekly basis. This personalized writing tutoring allows a person to develop test taking strategies that increase their score on the CELBAN. See if you can spot some of the errors in the phrases below:

  • A patient complained about why should the nurse must asks so many questions..
  • and not to right away help the patient.
  • Little that the patient knew that the nurse was already helping the patient.
  • The nurse  focused her full attention to the patient.

As writing coaches we often see errors with collocations, such as these. The idea is write, the words are right, but they are communicated either in an incorrect order, with an incorrect preposition, or by combining two collocations incorrectly. The correct phrasing for the examples above are:

  • why [someone] should/must [verb] [something]
  • help the [person/animal] right away
  • little does [someone] know [something]
  • remind [someone] about [something]

Discerning between collocation errors, and other more basic types of errors, is an important part of CELBANPrep Writing Level One and the personalized CELBANPrep Writing Tutoring.  For CELBANPrep Writing Level Two  we shift the focus to medical collocations.

As homework assignments we ask the writer to create 5 sentences using the collocation. Feel free to submit your own sentences for review, as a comment.  For example, here is a complex sentence with two of the collocations above:

Lucas can be so forgetful and it is funny that he often forgets about why his mother should remind him about everything.


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