This paper explores the collocational behaviour and semantic prosody of near synonyms from a cross-linguistic perspective. The importance of these concepts to language learning is well recognized. Yet while collocation and semantic prosody have recently attracted much interest from researchers studying the English language, there has been little work done on collocation and semantic prosody on languages other than English. Still less work has been undertaken contrasting the collocational behaviour and semantic prosody of near synonyms in different languages. In this paper, we undertake a cross-linguistic analysis of collocation, semantic prosody, and near synonymy, drawing upon data from English and Chinese (pu3tong1hua4). The implications of the findings for language learning are also discussed.