Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: draw

Type: Reference material

Tim Bowen draws attention to the collocates of this versatile word.

Originally the word draw is believed to have meant carry. In modern times it has evolved to mean something closer to pull, attract or even take, and this meaning can be seen in examples such as ‘draught beer is drawn from the barrel’. It is this sense of draw that can be found in the majority of collocations that draw is used in. Here we could draw a distinction between this meaning of draw and its other main meaning – to make sketches – although the latter is believed to have its origin in the act of pulling a pencil or brush across a surface.

Apart from distinctions, it is also possible to draw a parallel, an analogy or a comparison. On a positive note, an action or activity you engage in may draw praise but, on the other hand, it may also draw criticism, although you might draw some comfort from some of the positive comments you received earlier. If you want to enter a place unnoticed it might be a good idea not to draw attention to yourself, although in a different context you may wish to draw people's attention to something. Having considered a problem, you may wish to draw your own conclusion about it or you may wish to draw breath (stop for a while to take a rest) or draw a line under it (consider it finished and stop thinking about it).

If you are looking for a pattern in all of this, there is a strong possibility you will draw a blank (fail to find what you are looking for) but don’t worry; it is finally drawing to a close (coming to an end).

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