Collocations With The Word Build

Collocations are words that usually go together in English.

Here we are going to look at words that go with 'build' to make useful and popular expressions you will hear in social and professional contexts.

Build bridges

This is a really popular collocation that means to form connections.


  • Okay, team, if we're going to secure this contract, we need to build bridges with all of our vendors and expand our market presence.
  • To have a successful business network, you need to get out and meet people and really build bridges between your business and theirs.

You can also say 'build a bridge and get over it', but this is a sarcastic term used when you're talking about moving on from something that has been bothering you (or someone else).

  • Stop going on about what happened last week. Why don't you just build a bridge and get over it? Life's too short!

Build rapport

When we 'build rapport', we make a strong connection in which people trust each other. This collocation is usually used to talk about professional relationships.


  • Salespeople who build rapport with customers and clients convert more sales.
  • Therapists must build rapport quickly and effectively with their clients.
  • There are many techniques and exercises which can help colleagues build rapport and achieve enhanced communication in the work environment.

Build a reputation

To build a reputation means to develop an identity for which you are known and associated with, usually over a long period of time. Reputation is the general opinion people have about something.


  • It's our goal to build a reputation for high standards of customer care and excellent customer services.
  • In the restaurant trade, it is paramount to build a reputation for good food and a unique experience for diners.
  • Over hundreds of years, this school has aimed to build a reputation for producing high achieving students with exemplary exam results and you are not about to destroy it.

Build a working relationship

To build a working relationship means to develop a professional and mutually advantageous relationship in a business context.


  • I expect all of my colleagues to build working relationships that allow them to achieve their goals and further the success of the company.
  • It can be difficult to build working relationships when you first join a new company.
  • When you build working relationships within your company, you will find that personal relationships will begin to form

Build character/Character building

When you build character you improve desirable traits in a person, for example, endurance or courage.  Building character usually refers to enduring something unpleasant in order to become a better person.


  • Many people believe that army training builds character in young men and women.
  • In his interview with the newspaper, Ahmed said he believed his experiences which most people would find horrific, were character building for him.
  • Do team-building exercises build character or are they a waste of time for employees?

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