Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: strike

Type: Article

This latest article by Tim Bowen will strike a chord with those itching for more collocations.

With the general meaning of hit, the verb strike goes with a number of nouns and noun phrases to make various common expressions. If you accept neither of two extreme positions or things but find a solution that is reasonable and fair, you strike a balance between the two, as in ‘A balance must be struck between meeting housing needs and preserving the environment'.

If you strike a blow for an idea, a movement or a group, you do something to help or support it, as in 'Her actions have struck a blow for common sense and human decency’. On the other hand, if you strike a blow against an idea, a movement or a group, you do something to harm or oppose it, as in ‘Their main objective was to strike a blow against the rebel forces’.

To strike a deal means to reach an agreement which benefits both sides, as in ‘The two leaders at the centre of the political stand-off have struck a deal and agreed to form a transitional power-sharing government'.

If something strikes a chord with you, it produces an emotional reaction, e.g. ‘Released during the dark days of the war, the film instantly struck a chord with audiences’.

Oil companies are constantly attempting to strike oil (find oil) but if you strike gold, you suddenly become rich or successful as a result of doing something, as in ‘He seems to have struck gold with his first film’.

It is also possible to strike fear or terror into someone, as in ‘By targeting shops and markets, the insurgents clearly intend to strike fear into people in the area’.

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