Collocations: Talk, Speak, Say, Tell


Do you know how we use the verbs talk, speak, say and tell? These words are often taught just as verbs and lots of emphasis is put on how they are formed and differences between them. Here, I want us to look at each word separately, and practise its meaning according to other words it is often connected to. We call these strong connections between words 'collocations'.

1. Look at the picture below and decide which word can go in space ‘B’. There are three collocations made with the words on the left (A) + ‘B’ and three collocations with ‘B’ and the words on the right (C).

  • Answer
1. Look at the collocation below and choose the correct definition from A,B and C. Then click ‘Next’.

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2. Answer the following questions with the collocations.
A) Do you like small talk, or do you prefer to talk about more serious things?
B) Do you consider yourelf to be straight talking, or do you find it difficult getting to the point?
C) Do you think idle talk is harmless as long as you’re being honest or can it have serious consequences?
D) Do you talk back if you feel challenged by someone in authority, or do you bite your lip?
E) Do you know anyone who talks nonsense and how do you deal with it?
F) If you were invited on a talk show, what would you like to talk about with the host?