How strongly a verb is associated with a construction plays a crucial role in the learning of argument structure constructions. We examined the effect of verb–construction association strength on second language (L2) constructional generalization by analysing L2 learners’ production and comprehension of two complex constructions (i.e. ditransitive and resultative), comparable in constructional complexity and input frequency but distinctive in verb–construction association. Using a learner corpus study, we found greater verbal usage variability in the production of ditransitive rather than resultative constructions. The results of an acceptability judgment task indicated that L2 learners accepted the ditransitive sentences regardless of whether they contained high-frequency or low-frequency verbs, but learners were more likely to accept the resultative sentences when they read high-frequency rather than low-frequency verbs. These findings suggest that verb–construction association affects the learning of argument structure constructions, supporting its contribution to the constructional generalization.