What is the difference between collocations and phrasal verbs?

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COLLOCATIONS

Collocations are words that are generally used together.
For example,
 

  • commit a crime
  • make a mistake
  • distant memory
  • break a record
  • bunch of flowers
  • fast food

 
It would sound strange if you said ’make a crime’, ’do a mistake’, ’remote memory’, ’knock a record’, ’pack of flowers’ or ’quick food’. These words don’t collocate with each other (don’t sound correct together).
 
 
PHRASAL VERBS
 
Phrasal verbs are verb+preposition combinations, so they are usually two-word expressions (sometimes more).
For example, ’look + after’, ’put off’, ’take + up’ or ’put + up with’.
The meaning of a phrasal verb is often very different from the original verb:

  • She’s looking after the children. (She is taking care of the children.)
  • They’ve put off the meeting. (They’ve postponed the meeting.)
  • Greg’s taken up golf. (Greg’s started playing golf.)
  • I can’t put up with my neighbours any longer. (I can’t tolerate my neighbours any longer.)

 

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