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What Collocates with ‘Pain’? (Part 1)

4/7/17 What Collocates with ‘Pain’? (Part 1)

What Collocates with Pain? Part 1

Pain may be:
acute, agonizing, awful, excruciating, extreme, great, intense, severe, sharp, terrible, unbearable | burning, searing, shooting, stabbing, throbbing
  • She had a burning pain in one eye.
dull, little, slight | chronic, constant, nagging, persistent | sudden | intermittent | physical | abdominal, back, chest, leg, muscle, shoulder, stomach | growing, labor, period
  • She’s been off work with back pain.
  • He went to the doctor with chest pains.
What verbs can we use with “pain”?
be in, be racked with, experience, feel, get, go through, have, suffer (from)
  • He was obviously in a great deal of pain.
  • Can you feel any pain?
  • Marathon runners are used to going through pain.
  • He was taken to hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain.
cause, give sb, inflict
  • His back gives him great pain. It’s wrong to inflict pain on any animal.
increase, make worse | alleviate, control, deaden, do something for, dull, ease, help, kill, relieve, stop
  • Your doctor should be able to do something for the pain.
bear, endure, put up with, stand, take | cry out in, cry with, groan with, scream with | be contorted with, contort in
  • His face was contorted with pain as he crossed the finish line.
Now, “pain” + verbs:
begin, come
  • The pains began shortly after she started work as a gardener.
shoot through/up
  • A sharp pain shot up his leg.
grow stronger, increase, intensify | disappear, go, stop, wear off
  • Has the pain gone yet?
  • A few hours after he’d had his tooth out, the pain began to wear off.
come back, return
A few phrases using pain:
aches and pains
  • Eucalyptus oil is good for easing muscular aches and pains.
a cry of pain, a threshold for/of pain
  • I have a very low threshold for pain.


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