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28 useful business collocations

Collocations can be defined as the combination of words which usually go together, often for no specific reason. For example, we say “light a candle” but not “light the fireworks” even though the action is exactly the same (both mean lighting something using fire), the real collocation for “fireworks” is “set off”. Among others, we have “do homework” not “make homework” or “have a party” and not “make a party”.

There are different types of collocations comprised of combinations of verbs, nouns, adjective etc. Here are some of the most common types:

  • adverb + adjective: ridiculously easy
  • adjective + noun: express train
  • noun + noun: tuna sandwich
  • noun + verb: lions roar
  • verb + noun: take photos
  • verb + adverb: wave frantically

Mastering collocations will make your English sound more fluent and natural.


business She says she only does business with people she likes.

due diligence Let’s do due diligence before we begin the project.

paperwork First we have to do the paperwork.

research Let’s do some research on the subject.


an appointment I made an appointment for a meeting next week.

cutbacks The company made cutbacks at their stores in New York.

an investment She made an investment in a few stocks.

a loan The bank made a loan of $75,000.

money The company made a lot of money last year.

a profit They made a poor profit on the deal.


a business / a company / a factory / a store, etc.  He manages two stores in California.

expectations Always manage your expectations during contract negotiations.

a project / a team / an account Susan manages five projects. She’s amazing.


an airline The group operates and airline in South America.

a facility We operate facilities Warsaw and Krakow.

a service We operate a translation service in Poland.



a business I know how to run my business!

a bar / a shop / a restaurant, etc.  I run a restaurant in London.

a marketing campaign / an advertising campaign Pepsi ran an amazing marketing campaign.


cut a deal We cut a deal with our competition.

give someone a deal Let me give you a deal on a new car.

close a deal We managed to close the deal with the Japanese company.

work on a deal We’re working on a deal with a new client.


sign a contract We signed a contract with the new advertising company.

draw up a contract The lawyers drew up the contract in a month.

negotiate a contract It’s important to always try and negotiate a contract before signing.

offer someone a contract We have offered John Stevens a contract.

bid on a contract Our construction company has bid on three public contracts.

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