Collocations with heavy

Collocations are word groups that sound natural to a native English speaker. Of course, ESL students often find it difficult to understand which adjectives best collocate with which nouns and which adverbs best collocate with which verbs. For example, we say heavy rains, but we don’t say strong rains. In order to learn collocations students have to listen to spoken English as much as possible.

In this article we will take a look at the nouns used with the adjectives heavy.

Nouns used with heavy

It was a heavy suitcase. I couldn’t lift it. (NOT It was a strong suitcase.)

His wife deserted him because he was a heavy smoker and drinker. (NOT …because he was a strong / hard smoker.)

I had a heavy breakfast in the morning, now I don’t feel like eating anything.

She paid a heavy price for her stupidity.

I have a heavy cold.

He received a heavy blow to his head.

I have a heavy workload.

Schools should place a heavy emphasis on children’s character development.

Cough syrups may cause drowsiness and hence patients taking cough syrups are advised against handling heavy machinery.

Common collocations with heavy: heavy weights / heavy machinery / heavy workload / heavy emphasis / heavy rains / heavy reliance / heavy loss / heavy price / heavy cold / heavy blow / heavy fall / heavy burden.

Light is the opposite of heavy. However, it is not always used to express ideas opposite to the ideas given above. We can say light suitcase, light meals, light weeks and light casualties. However, we can’t say a light smoker or a light cold. The opposite of heavy cold is slight cold.