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Identifying Frequent Collocations of Do, Make, Earn, and Win in BNC and COCA Corpus

Question:

Discuss about the Easy and Engaging ESL Activities.

The aim of the following research project is to make a fruitful investigation of the collocations of the words like “do”, “make”, “earn” and “win” in the English text books of elementary-pre intermediate level. In order to pursue the aforementioned aim of the paper, the initially, most frequent collocation and use of “do”, “make”, “earn” and “win” according to the BNC (British National Corpus) and COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) will be identified. Thereafter, the paper will consider identifying four English text books to understand and evaluate the use as well as frequency of using Management collocations of verbs like “do”, “make”, “earn” and “win”. Most importantly, differences between the individual uses of the aforementioned verbs will be identified too.  

It is to mention initially that the BNC or the British National Corpus is known to be the sample of 100 million word test that is written and spoken in English from varied kinds of sources (Bauer 2015). For the English language references as well as symbols, BNC English material can prove most convenient for English language teaching. One of the most frequent collocations of the word “do” is found to be “du” in terms of a reduced form of the verb (Adams 2016).  The colloquial word – “dun” in the corpus of BNC is supposed to be the variant form of “do not”. Further, it has been identified that the in terms of frequent collocation of the verb “do”, it is to denote that in BNC corpus, the verb – “do” most of the time comes beside “to”. Therefore, some of the most frequent collocations of “do” in BNC corpus is found to be “dun” and “to do” (Dziemianko 2014). The followings are some example that are recognized to be some common English collocations according to BNC are non-specific activities like – “Do something”, “Do nothing”, “Do everything” and replacing verbs when obvious, are – “Do the laundry”, “Do the exam” and “Do the dishes” (Biber and Reppen 2015).

Prior to identify the frequent collocations of “do”, “make”, “earn” and “win” in the COCA corpus, it is essential to mention that COCA or the Corpus of Contemporary American English is considered to be the largest corpus of the American English (Adams 2016). It has been identified that in COCA corpus, some of the most frequent collocations of “do” are – “do so”, “do that well”, “so do advocates”, “do you prefer”, “do you want”, “do I have”, “do not agree” and “do in order”. However, in terms of frequent collocation, the verb “make” comes with – “make dough”, “make it”, “make a plan”, “make me do that”, “can make sense”, “make each lesson”, “make big changes”, “make in using digital technologies”, “make connections” and “make the story” (Davies and Fuchs 2015). On the other hand, some of the most frequent collocations of “earn” in COCA corpus are found to be – “earn a doctoral degree”, “earn sufficient credits”, “earn a living”, “earn constructive entitlement”, “earn a bachelor's degree”, “earn as much”, “earn a living” and “earn a reward” (Brown and Palmer 2015).

Collocation of Do and Make in BNC Corpus

It is further mention that for the verb – “win”, the frequency collocation of COCA corpus includes – “win again”, “win over”, “win it back”, “ can win”, “win the peace”, “ win relief”, “his win”, “ win a majority”, “the win”, “when you win” and “certain to win”.  

It has been identified that in BNC corpus, the frequency of the collocation of “do” is dominated by the word “make”. Most significantly, in the BNC corpus, the frequent use of the collocation of “make” is even more than “do”. On the other hand, one of the most frequent Management collocation forms of “make” according to the BNC corpus is “making” (Davies and Fuchs 2015). According to BNC corpus, some of the most frequent verb collocations are found to be – “make a difference”, “make a mess”, “make a mistake”, “make a noise”, “make trouble” and “make money”. It has been understood that according to the BNC corpus, the collocation of the verb – “make” is used most of the time as a replacement of “do”. For example, various times “do the report” is used as “make the report (Breeze 2017).

According to both BNC and COCA, similarly like the collocation of the connected verbs – “do” and “make” take place, verbs like “earn” and “win” are used most of the time for the same purpose. It is to also mention that the collocation connectivity of “earn” and “win” extends to the verb “gain” according to both COCA and BNC corpus. In both the COCA and BNC corpus, the collocation of the verb – “earn’ is related to education and designation. Such as – “earn a degree”, “earn an impressive position” (Brown and Palmer 2015). On the other hand, some of the most frequent collocation of “win” is found to be more associated with succeeding a task or wining a prize. For example, “win a game”, “win money”, “win love” and “win the war”. However, in both COCA and BNC corpus, it has been identified that instead of being matched grammatically, the word “fame” or “opportunity” are most of the time associated with “earn” rather than “win”. For example – “try to earn fame”, “try to win the lottery”, “earn a lot of money”, “earn a reputation” and “win the competition at any cost” (Davies and Fuchs 2015).

In order to understand most frequent collocation of “do”, “make”, “earn” and “win”, the following paper would consider examining four English comprehension books of elementary level. Further, in order to identify the practical use of the collocation of the aforementioned verbs, four exercises would be presented and analyzed. Therefore, it can be said that a secondary research approach has been taken for the present purpose. The main focus of the method will be to identify and understand how the aforementioned verbs are being used in the grammatical comprehensions. According to the proposed methodology, exercises have been taken from - “ESL Teacher’s Activities Kit” by Elizabeth Claire, “Assessment and ESL: An Alternative Approach” by Barbara Law, “ESL Activities and Mini-Books for Every Classroom” by Kama Einhorn and “Children’s ESL Curriculum: Management Learning English with Laughter” by Ms. Daisy A. Stocker M.Ed. & Dr. George A. Stocker D.D.S.

Collocation of Earn and Win in COCA Corpus

It has been found out that in most of the English text books of elementary-pre intermediate level use of the words – “do” and “make” as well as “earn” and “win” are found to be used for the vocabulary and comprehension purpose. For example, the following exercises will show the use of the words – “do” and “make” for the English comprehension purpose –

In the elementary book “Children’s ESL Curriculum: Learning English with Laughter”, the following have been found out -

The above result and findings are indicative of the fact that while “do’ and “make” replace each other in several purpose, similarly in the collocation, “earn” and “win” do the same. The above-presented exercises are indicative of the fact that in most of the elementary level text books, the aforementioned verbs are used in grammar purpose. Each of the above mentioned exercises imply that in order to teach the ESL students the fundamental grammatical uses of these verbs the comprehensions are made. In those exercise, the use of collocations like “dun” for “do” or “makin” for “making” are not used (González Fernández and Schmitt 2015). The exercises indicate that most of the English text books are concerned with teaching the grammatical credibility of the verbs – do, make, earn and win to accompany nouns and adjectives in time of communicational as well as written application (Jones and Waller 2015). It should be contemplated here that the above results and literature review are referring that while “make” is more used rather than “do” and replace “do”, “earn” is more used than the verb “win”.

In the COCA corpus, use of the aforementioned verbs is seen in the use of particular constructions, such as            matching prepositions and matching phrases (Parkinson 2015). It has been further understood that the verbs “earn” and “win” in both COCA and BNC corpuses are various times replaced by the verb – “gain”. Moreover, it has been further understood that while use of the verb “win” in the collocation is related with accomplishing anything, “earn” is mainly related to educational, designation and money related phrases. On the other hand, collocations of both the verbs “do” and “make” are related to accomplishing a task (Vázquez 2014). Most significantly, it has been understood that each of the considered verbs are used in both BNC and COCA as suffix and prefix in sentences.

Conclusion

From the above research paper, it can be concluded that in terms of having most frequent collocations, “make’ is being used more than the verb “do”. On the other hand, the verb “earn” is being used more than “win”. The above study has also indicated the fact that in the contemporary English text books of the elementary level, the application of “do”, “make”, “earn” and “win” are accomplished for the grammatical purpose Management and for teaching the ESL students about how to accompany nouns or adjectives by the use of “do:, “make”, “earn” and “win”. However, according to the above study, in both COCA and BNC, the verb – “gain” is used varied time to replace verbs like “win” and “earn”. It is finally to anticipate that the above paper and the research findings might prove helpful in future for the researchers who will be interested in pursuing a research on the similar subject.

References

Adams, V., 2016. An introduction to modern English word-formation. Routledge.

Bauer, L., 2015. A corpus study of some rare English verbs. SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, 12(3), pp.105-115.

Biber, D. and Reppen, R. eds., 2015. The Cambridge handbook of English corpus linguistics. Cambridge University Press.

Breeze, R., 2017. Exploring evidential uses of the passive of reporting verbs through corpus analysis. Evidentiality Revisited: Cognitive grammar, functional and discourse-pragmatic perspectives, 271.

Brown, D.W. and Palmer, C.C., 2015. The phrasal verb in american english: using corpora to track down historical trends in particle distribution, register variation, and noun collocations. Studies in the history of the English language VI: Evidence and method in histories of English, 85, p.71.

Claire, E., 1988. ESL teacher's activities kit:[over 160 stimulating, easy-to-use games and activities to enhance language learning in any second-language teaching situation, plus tips for managing the ESL classroom and a special" Language needs checklist" to help you quickly locate activities to meet specific needs]. Prentice Hall.

Davies, M. and Fuchs, R., 2015. Expanding horizons in the study of World Englishes with the 1.9 billion word Global Web-based English Corpus (GloWbE). English World-Wide, 36(1), pp.1-28.

Dziemianko, A., 2014. On the presentation and placement of collocations in monolingual English learners’ dictionaries: Insights into encoding and retention. International Journal of Lexicography, p.ecu012.

Einhorn, K., 2001. Easy & engaging ESL activities and mini-books for every classroom. New York: Scholastic.

González Fernández, B. and Schmitt, N., 2015. How much collocation knowledge do L2 learners have?: the effects of frequency and amount of exposure. ITL-International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 166(1), pp.94-126.

Jones, C. and Waller, D., 2015. Corpus linguistics for grammar: A guide for research. Routledge.

Mueller, C.M. and Jacobsen, N.D., 2016. A comparison of the effectiveness of EFL students’ use of dictionaries and an online corpus for the enhancement of revision skills. ReCALL, 28(01), pp.3-21.

Parkinson, J., 2015. Noun–noun collocations in learner writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 20, pp.103-113.

Vázquez, M.M., 2014. Expressive Object Constructions in English. A corpus based analysis. ESTUDIOS INGLESES, 69, pp.175-190.

Wu, J., 2016. A Corpus-Based Contrastive Study of Adverb+ Verb Collocations in Chinese Learner English and Native Speaker English.

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