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Word Pairs

Nonreversible word pairs always appear in the same order, e.g., back and forth. It would sound awkward if we read forth and back. For many of us, certain words go together and we will automatically use the correct order. However, nonnative speakers will need to learn nonreversible word pairs.

Common Word Pairs

The following is a list of common word pairs. Collocations are also a good idea to learn if you are a nonnative speaker. These are words commonly used together, e.g., have a headache.

Adam and Eve life or death
back and forth lock and key
bacon and eggs lost and found
bed and breakfast man and wife
birds and bees name and address
black and white nice and easy
body and soul null and void
bread and butter peaches and cream
bread and water pen and pencil
bricks and mortar pork and beans
bride and groom pots and pans
business and pleasure prim and proper
by and large profit and/or loss
cause and effect pros and cons
cloak and dagger pure and simple
coat and tie rain or shine
coffee and doughnuts ranting and raving
cream and sugar read and write
crime and punishment right and/or wrong
cup and saucer rise and fall
dead or alive salt and pepper
down and out shirt and tie
first and last shoes and socks
fish and chips short and fat
flesh and blood signed and sealed
forgive and forget slip and slide
front and center soap and water
fun and games sooner or later
give and take stars and stripes
ham and eggs suit and tie
hammer and nail supply and demand
hemmed and hawed sweet and sour
high and dry tall and thin
high and low thick and thin
hot and bothered tossed and turned
huffing and puffing touch and go
husband and wife trial and error
in and out trials and tribulations
Jack and Jill up and/or down
knife and fork wait and see
ladies and gentlemen war and peace
law and order wine and cheese

If we forgot a word pair, please let us know via our comment form below.

20 comments… add one

  • Chalk and Cheese
    Rock and Roll

  • Thanks for taking the time & creating this post!

  • This is a great website – TY!

  • also
    Sing and Grow
    Nut and Berries

  • Meat and Cheese!

  • This website is VERY GOOD
    thank you

  • To and Fro

  • Terms and Conditions

  • Peace and love

  • Slip and Slide
    Song and Dance

  • Mother and father

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  • Ice and lemon
    Bits and pieces
    Thunder and lightning
    Sick and tired
    Now and again
    Safe and sound
    Now or never
    More or less
    All or nothing
    Once or twice

  • laugh and cry, long and short, ladies and gentlemen . . .

  • Sticks and stones
    Time and space
    Pain and suffering

  • Horse and Chariot
    Horse and Buggi
    Dog and bone
    Kettle and teacup
    Plate and bowl
    Field and Stream
    wine and dine
    mom and dad

  • mother and father

  • spick and span
    now and then

  • Food and Drink, chapter and verse, plain and simple, mix and match, bar and grill

  • Strawberies & cream


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