"a huge patience" and "a large interest"

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assuntapatane

Senior Member
Italian
Hi Everybody!
Could any native speaker explain to me if "a huge patience" and "a large interest" can be considered "collocations"? I used them yesterday in a writing text (to talk about people who proved to be very patient in certain occasions and very interested in some topics). But I'm afraid they'll be regarded as "incorrect".
What do you think about that?
Thank you very much
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello assuntapatane

    It would help if you could tell us the contexts (including the complete sentences) in which you used "a huge patience" and "a large interest".

    I rather suspect that we're going to have bad news for you, and that you used "a huge patience"/"a large interest" in contexts where "patience" and "interest" would be uncountable:(.

    But let's see!
     

    assuntapatane

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hi Loob :)
    I wrote something like: "it is a work of huge patience" and - later - "all the people interviewed showed large interest in the opportunity to ...".
    I hope I have helped you.
    Thank you!
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    First, I would use the indefinite article in your second example (i.e. a large interest).

    Secondly, collocations are often a matter of preference and what we are used to seeing or hearing.
    I don't personally like your use of huge and large here. I find of enormous patience and showed considerable interest much more likely.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I am not sure how you are using the word "collocation". OED
    1 c. Linguistics. The habitual juxtaposition or association, in the sentences of a language, of a particular word with other particular words; a group of words so associated.
    which is not quite the same as asking if two words can be used together: e.g. in "I chose the red ball" 'red' and 'ball' are not collocations but are often used together, whereas in "This is different from the earlier model" 'different' and 'from' are collocations as they are habitually placed together.

    That said, in your first example, "patience" is uncountable and thus is correct. In the second "large interest" is countable and requires the indefinite article.

    It is usual (but not invariable) that when an uncountable noun is qualified, it becomes countable.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The meaning of collocation used by assuntapatane is lexical collocation, i.e. you can say to cancel an appointment but not to withdraw an appointment.
    As I said, the process can sometimes be subjective, i.e. not everyone will agree.
     
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