Chunks are groups of two or more words, i.e. phrases (not necessarily complete sentences) that we memorise and use to build longer sentences. Saying chunks out loud helps us when we speak and make longer sentences.  Chunks give us an extra moment to think about the next part of our sentence.


Making some these set expressions part of your active spoken and written vocabulary will help you as you develop your everyday English speaking and writing skills.

Not only will using chunking contribute to making verbal and written communication easier, but it will also help exam candidates to pass with better grades.

Chunks and expressions feature in Cambridge PET and First Reading or Use of English Papers in all kinds of ways. ‘I was wondering if’, ‘I look forward to seeing you’ and ‘All the best’ are just a few examples.

In speaking tests, expressions like ‘As far as I know’, ‘I think so’ and ‘I agree with you’ help to prevent mistakes when speaking, as well as collocations including ‘do housework’ or ‘make the bed’.

Other collocations to memorise might include adjective–noun chunks like ‘heavy rain’ or ‘a smooth flight’, and verb–noun phrases such as ‘do sport’, ‘go swimming’ and ‘have dinner’.

Recommendation: as you learn chunks, write them in your vocabulary notebook.

Here is a visual example of how chunks make new information easier to say and remember:

Happy learning!

Chunking - used in language learning to memorise vocabulary and improve speaking

Word chunking in language learning
Use chunking – and keep calm!