25 English Expressions with the Word PAPER

1000 English Collocations E-Book

Category 1: PAPER

One unit of paper is called a sheet of paper or a piece of paper.

If the paper has horizontal lines on it, then it is called lined paper or notebook paper. If it has squares, then it is graph paper. And if it has no lines or squares, then it is plain paper.

notebook paper & graph paper

notebook paper & graph paper

Some special types of papers are:

  • wax paper – covered with wax to make it waterproof
wax paper

wax paper

  • wrapping paper – decorative paper used to wrap gifts
rolls of wrapping paper

rolls of wrapping paper

  • paper towels – a thick, absorbent paper usually used in the kitchen

a roll of paper towels

  • toilet paper – used in the bathroom, for personal hygiene
a roll of toilet paper

a roll of toilet paper

Three actions you can do with paper:

  • fold a piece of paper
fold a piece of paper

fold a piece of paper

  • crumple up a piece of paper
crumple up a piece of paper

crumple up a piece of paper

  • rip/tear a piece of paper
rip / tear a piece of paper

rip / tear a piece of paper

If you rip / tear a piece of paper up into small pieces, these are called scraps of paper:

scraps of paper

scraps of paper


Sometimes we use the word paper as a short form for newspaper. For example:

  • english-words-newspaperDid you read today’s paper?
  • The TV guide is published in the Sunday paper.
  • The scandal was all over the papers.
    (= published in many different newspapers)
  • My brother writes for the local paper.
    (= he is a journalist who writes articles for the local newspaper)


This is often used for documents involving identification, immigration, import/export, divorce, dismissal, and other official transactions:

  • We had to show the immigration agent our papers.
  • The divorce is almost finalized; we just need to sign the papers.
  • Exporting goods is easier if you have all the papers in order.
    (in order = correct and organized)
  • She got her walking papers last week; now she’s looking for a new job.
    (walking papers = a slang term for a written notice of dismissal)


english-words-correct-paperTeachers often ask students to write a paper as an assignment for class. If the writing assignment requires research/investigation, it is called a research paper.

The students turn in their papers (give them to the teacher); the teacher grades the papers (evaluates them and gives an official rating) and hands the papers back (gives them back to the students).

The word paper can also refer to an academic article published in an official professional journal. Scholars may write a first draft of the paper and have their colleagues review it and make suggestions for improvement. They can then revise it and send in the final draft of the paper for publication.

After the paper is published, other professionals/scientists can discuss the paper. The original writer might also have the chance to present the paper at a conference.

Image sources: Kerkyra, Mets501, Brandon Blinkenberg, Scienceblogs.com, Pixgood, My-green-hobby, Pink Sherbet Photography, Clipartpanda, Mike Schulenberg

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