Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: fundamental/fundamentals

Type: Article

Tim Bowen covers the fundamentals with this set of collocations.

The adjective fundamental is defined as ‘relating to the basic nature of something or essential to the existence or success of something’ and the noun fundamentals as ‘the most basic and important aspects of something’.

Fundamental collocates with words like issue, principle and question, as in ‘The ruling violates the fundamental principles, objectives and rules of EU law’. Rights can also be fundamental, as in ‘The new legislation removes fundamental rights, such as the right to protest’, as can changes or differences, as in ‘Members will notice some fundamental changes in the way the organization is run’.

Flaws, problems and weaknesses may also be fundamental ‘It appears that there is a fundamental flaw in the current proposal’.

The plural noun fundamentals can be preceded by the adjectives basic and underlying, for example ‘The robust sales pace reflects the underlying fundamentals of the economy’ and by adjectives that indicate reliability, such as good, sound and strongSound fundamentals mean the economy is well placed to respond positively when the world economic recovery gathers pace’.

When teaching or discussing the fundamentals of something, verbs such as address, cover, examine, explain and explore may be used, as in ‘The aim of the course is to explore the fundamentals of occupational hygiene’ and one may also grasp, learn or understand the fundamentals of something, as in ‘It doesn’t take that long to grasp the fundamentals of computer programming’.

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