Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (12 of 16)

By | February 24, 2019

Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (12 of 16)

Collocation is the key to getting a higher IELTS Writing and Speaking score, but it is not easy. Students often do not collocate words very well (which is why they don’t receive IELTS 7 or 8). To do this, all the parts of speech [adjectives & nouns, verbs & adverbs, prepositions & nouns, and others] must fit together in accepted patterns, stylishly 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.

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.

Tourists enjoy travelling abroad to experience culture shock.

2.

Another negative effect is the demolition of local culture.

3.

I would suggest advertising domestic tourist attractions.

4.

Nuclear waste is dangerous, and the government does not save it well.

5.

Nuclear power is popular in many countries.

6.

The strong points of nuclear energy are more.

7.

Nuclear power is better than other forms of energy production.

8.

The Fukashima nuclear plant was broken by a tsunami.

Answers to Collocation 11 of 16

Here are the answers to the previous collocation exercise. The first sentence has the wrong collocation; the second sentence has the correct one.

1.

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

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

2.

Society has to endure the cost.

Society has to suffer the cost. 

We ‘endure’ pain, stress, annoyance, frustration, and so on.

3.

Society wants to reduce crime rates.

Society wants to lower the crime rates.

Society wants to reduce crime.

4.

An asteroid from space did great damage.

An asteroid from space caused great damage.

An asteroid from space resulted in great damage.

An asteroid from space wreaked great destruction.

In the third example, ‘wreak’ collocates much better ‘destruction’ (rather than ‘damage’). It also collocates nicely with ‘havoc’.

5.

The age of the dinosaurs went to an end.

The age of the dinosaurs came to an end.

6.

Accidental gun shots can cause irreparable problems.

Accidental gun shots can cause permanent injury.

7.

We would need more police officers to guard the safety.

We would need more police officers to maintain safety.

8.

Students at school can develop rigid friendships.

Students at school can develop lasting/better/deeper/more intimate friendships.

‘Rigid’ (= unbending/inflexible) is a negative word, which must be linked with negative nouns of attitude, or (when used literally), with materials.

  • Rigid attitude
  • Rigid control
  • Rigid educational system
  • Rigid discipline
  • Rigid framework
  • Rigid structure
  • Rigid plastic

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