Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (11 of 16)

By | February 22, 2019

Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (11 of 16)

Okay, it’s been a while since my last post. We’ve all been enjoying the Chinese New Year Holiday, and it’s been busy for me afterwards with IELTS related matters. In my teaching location, Term 2 has started, with every IELTS course running, so I’m back to being a very busy teacher.

Anyhow, let’s continue with this collocation series which we were doing before the Chinese New Year holiday. It was all about ‘collocation’, and we are now up to the 11th post of the series of 16.  Why don’t you read the first and second post of this series to remind yourself about collocation, what it is, and why it is important.

Right now, I’ll mention that collocation is the key to getting a higher IELTS Writing and Speaking score. Collocation means putting all the parts of speech [adjectives & nouns, verbs & adverbs, prepositions & nouns, and others] together in accepted patterns which are stylish and nice, while all the time conveying clear and precise meaning – like the video at the top of this page. Watch it, and notice all the parts of this complex creation blend together perfectly. This is what your writing should be like.

Of course, good collocation is not easy, and requires a deeper knowledge of a language. Consequently, students often do not collocate words very well (which is why they don’t receive IELTS 7 or 8).

Well, to have ‘a sense of collocation’ (= IELTS 7), you need to have some familiarity with English. So, start reading all my pixnet posts, and getting this familiarity, right?

In the meantime, the following exercises will help.

Time to Practice

Can you ‘fix’ the following sentences by changing (or removing) the underlined word? There may be different ways to answer these. The answers will be in the next ‘collocation’ post.

1.

Only by such publicity can people decline the temptation to smoke.

2.

Society has to endure the cost.

3.

Society wants to reduce crime rates.

4.

An asteroid from space did great damage.

5.

The age of the dinosaurs went to an end.

6.

Accidental gun shots can cause irreparable problems.

7.

We would need more police officers to guard the safety.

8.

Students at school can develop rigid friendships.

Answers to Collocation 10 of 16

Here are the answers to the previous collocation exercise. This was given before Chinese New Year, so that was quite a while ago.

The first sentence has the wrong collocation; the second sentence has the correct one.

1.

Cigarettes can help make more social contact with people.

Cigarettes can help create more social contact with people.

2.

Modern society causes a competitive environment.

Modern society creates a competitive environment.

3.

Teenagers want to push the limits of the rules imposed by parents.

·         Teenagers want to cross the boundaries imposed by parents.

·         Teenagers want to break the rules imposed by parents.

·         Teenagers want to extend the limits set by parents.

Notice that the original sentence was a bit ‘overwritten’, with three words: ‘push’, ‘limits’, and ‘rules’, each of them collocating with different words. It’s better to use two words, and an adverb, if possible.

·         Teenagers want to deliberately cross the boundaries imposed by parents.

·         Teenagers want to blatantly break the rules imposed by parents.

·         Teenagers want to rebelliously extend the limits set by parents.

4.

Using guns could make unimaginable consequences.

Using guns could create/cause/result in unimaginable consequence.

5.

We can easily repair the law to make society safer.

We can easily change the law to make society safer.

6.

Mad shooters make irrecoverable harm to their victims.

Derranged shooters cause irrecoverable harm to their victims.

Derranged shooters irrecoverably harm their victims.

7.

Banning guns can avoid these tragedies from happening.

Banning guns can prevent these tragedies.

8.

We should remove these areas, creating a real non-smoking town.

We should remove these areas, creating a true non-smoking town.

By the way, you can learn more about me at   www.aisielts.com .

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed