Those sentences of two or more words that operate as a single unit. They are not generated word by word, but are stored in the memory and retrieved as if they were one-word vocabulary items. Also called lexical chunks, multi-word units, ready-mades, prefabricated language and holophrases. Can be classified in the following categories:
collocations, phrasal verbs, idioms, sentence frames, social formulae, discourse markers.
They make for easy access in real-time speaking conditions and aid fluency because of the low planning time required. Can also help make speaker sound idiomatic, a feature of the target speech community. The central platform of the Lexical Approach.