Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: drinking

Type: Article

Does your country have a strong drinking culture? Tim Bowen quenches your thirst for some  of these alcohol-related collocations.

Binge drinking (drinking alcohol heavily over a short period of time in order to get drunk) has been identified as a growing social problem in the UK. The effects of hard, heavy or regular drinking have been well documented (e.g. ‘There is little doubt that regular, heavy drinking can cause serious health problems.’), and excessive, hazardous, problem or irresponsible drinking like binge drinking may be more dangerous still.

If drinking causes problems for other people, it can be described as antisocial, as in ‘There is a problem of antisocial drinking on the streets of the town, particularly at weekends’. On the other hand, drinking can be moderate, responsible, safe or sensible, as in ‘The importance of sensible drinking cannot be over-estimated’ or ‘Many doctors believe that certain health benefits may derive from moderate drinking’.

From time to time, the authorities launch initiatives to curb or control excessive drinking or introduce schemes to combat or tackle binge drinking. People with a drinking problem or a drinking habit (alcoholics) are encouraged to seek professional advice. There may also be other undesirable effects from drinking, as in ‘Drivers are reminded that they may still be over the drink-driving limit the next morning after a heavy drinking session’.

There is little doubt, however, that a drinking culture (being socially acceptable to drink alcohol) exists in the UK, as in ‘We don’t think that the drinking culture which is causing health problems in the UK can be turned round overnight’.

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